2 year Somerset highways deal for Skanska

Skanska’s dominance on west country highways has been reasserted with the award of a £16m contract to maintain and improve North Somerset Council’ roads for the next two years.

Starting from 1st April 2016, Skanska will work in partnership with the council to look after 679 miles of roads across the district.

Skanska already provides highways services for neighbouring Bath & North East Somerset Council and for Somerset County Council. And in joint venture with Atkins it is Highways England’s asset support contractor for Area 2, covering Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Dorset.

Skanska operations director Simon White said: “We already have a strong presence in the region and we will be using our experience in the southwest to deliver the best possible service.”

Council deputy leader Elfan Ap Rees, who is also executive member for highways and transport, said: “A year ago we took the decision to invest £40m in our roads over the next five years to halt the deterioration in the state of the roads and start to improve them – and this contract will help us deliver that.

“Skanska has a strong history of building, maintaining and operating highways across the UK. By working together we can use their expertise to make real improvements in the overall condition of our roads and help us to deliver a network that meets road users’ needs now and in the future.”

Source: http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/another-somerset-highways-deal-for-skanska

Southern Water progresses £3m Ramsgate pipeline project

The latest stage in Southern Water’s £3 million Ramsgate pipeline replacement project involves a feat of engineering 82 feet deep and nearly 15 feet in diameter on the town seafront.

Southern Water ramsgate-shaft


Building the shaft at Government Acre is the latest phase in Southern Water’s £3million pipeline replacement project, which is aimed at helping to protect the environment and ensuring wastewater is removed effectively.

The new pipeline is needed to replace an old section of pipe which has burst a number of times. Southern Water Project Manager Andy Arnold said:

“Our construction partner, MGjv, has been replacing wastewater pipes in Minster Road, St Lawrence Avenue and the Royal Esplanade.”

“Work is now underway in the next phase of the project which involves building a shaft on Government Acre. This will contain a pipe connecting the new pipeline at the Royal Esplanade to the pumping station in Military Road, diverting it away from the beach area.”

To dig the shaft there is a large working area on the green and along the promenade and some heavy machinery is needed to carry out the work, which will be ongoing until the end of May, 2016.  However, when the work is finished, only a manhole cover will be visible on the promenade.

Hounslow on top for clean streets

Hounslow Highways received the ‘Quality Improvement Award’ at the Keep Britain Tidy (KBT) Awards 2016.

Results from previous KBT surveys put Hounslow above the London average for quality of street cleaning.

Praise was given for “a fresh way of thinking” shown by data usage and efforts to communicate with residents. Examples include using leaf fall reports from previous years and feedback submitted by seven volunteer ‘Lay Assessors’, to determine hotspot areas and increase cleansing efficiency, respectively.

Progress was also identified in enforcement activities carried out by Hounslow Highways, including joint action days with Hounslow Council and participation in the Met Police’s Junior Citizen Scheme.

Hounslow Highways Service Director, Martin Clack, said: “In the three years that Hounslow Highways has been responsible for street cleaning, there has been a continuous improvement. I would like to express the utmost gratitude to all staff that made this possible from our street cleaners to senior management. There are still challenges that we face, but I am confident we have the strategies and knowledge to tackle them.”

Do you drive on one of the slowest roads in England? The 10 worst revealed…

Figures from the Department for Transport have revealed the average speeds on the nation’s A roads during the morning rush hour

Do you drive on one of the slowest commuter roads in England?

Figures from the Department for Transport have revealed the average speeds on the nation’s A roads during the morning rush hour.

Across the whole of England the average speed on A roads during peak morning times was 23.7 miles per hour in 2015, down from 24.4 miles per hour in 2014.

The A407 westbound in Barnet, London and the A2203 northbound in Greenwich, London were the joint slowest roads nationally in 2015.

Commuters driving on these two roads could expect an average speed of just 3.8 miles per hour on average during morning rush hour in 2015.

Ten slowest roads in England- Road and location Average speed at morning rush hour in 2015:

  1. A407 Westbound in Barnet 3.8 mph
  2. A2203 Northbound in Greenwich 3.8 mph
  3. A400 Northbound in Westminster 3.9 mph
  4. A306 Northbound in Richmond upon Thames 4 mph
  5. A5201 Westbound in Islington 4.1 mph
  6. A1202 Southbound in Tower Hamlets 4.3 mph
  7. A3220 Northbound in Wandsworth 4.3 mph
  8. A1202 Eastbound in Hackney 4.5 mph
  9. A306 Eastbound in Hammersmith and Fulham 4.7 mph
  10. A40 Westbound in Camden 4.8 mph

Source: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/you-drive-one-slowest-roads-7374631

Congratulations Carrington West!

Carrington West is delighted to announce being awarded ‘Highly Commended’ in the category of ‘Small Business of the Year’ at The News’ Business Excellence Awards!

It was a night of celebration as hundreds of people packed into the Guildhall to recognise the best in business as The News’ Business Excellence Awards returned to the prestigious Portsmouth venue for their 15th on Friday.
And it was one of the biggest years yet as 16 honours were handed out to everyone – from apprentices to large companies – doing the business in this part of the world.


Editor Mark Waldron opened the night and he spoke of his pride.

He said: ‘Each year these awards make me realise what great companies we have operating across the area.

‘These companies – from the smallest start-up to the largest organisation – show the strength of the business community in Portsmouth and the surrounding areas.’

This year saw hundreds of entries submitted.

Birmingham plans £254m worth of major road improvements

Aston Expressway and Dudley Road are among those to undergo repair work as part of five-year budget plan

Major road improvements to the Aston Expressway, Dudley Road and in Stechford are contained in a £254 million funding package for highways and road repairs set to be approved by council bosses.

The funding, to be spent over the next five years, will also pay for smaller road works, cycling initiatives, safety measures and safer routes for schools.

The majority of the cash comes from the Department for Transport, the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and the city council’s own highways budget.

But there is also £4 million raised from city centre bus lane enforcement fines collected since 2013 – with £1 million of it already allocated for improvement works to Iron Lane in Stechford, one of the city’s worst congestion pinch points.

The council controversially kept the £1.8 million it raised from bus lane fines between summer 2013 and February 2014 when a tribunal ruled that it had installed inadequate warning signs at three locations which caught drivers unaware.

Further funds are likely to be used to pay for the expansion of bus lane enforcement cameras to more commuter routes throughout the city.

The council’s transportation and highways capital funding strategy outlines the investment and is set to be approved by the cabinet next week.

Major works include the ongoing repairs to the Tame Valley Viaduct, which carries the Aston Expressway, and work on Dudley Road around the new Icknield Port Loop development.

Labour cabinet member for transport Tahir Ali said: “This document sets out how major highways projects will be funded between now and 2021, bringing significant benefits to the city’s residents and businesses, ranging from economic growth and support for development and housing, through to reduced congestion, safer roads and improved air quality.

“A key part of my job is looking at the way people move around our city and working to ensure they can do this as smoothly and as effectively as possible.

“As part of this, we introduced city centre bus lanes which provide benefits such as improved journey times for thousands of commuters but we are also investing funds generated from bus lane enforcement penalties back into improving the local transport network, as we are required to do.”

Source: http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/news/regional-affairs/birmingham-plans-254m-worth-major-10863743

Essex County Council to invest £300m in roads over next three years

More than £300 million will be invested to improve the “scourge” of Essex roads over the next three years.

The funding was confirmed as part of Essex County Council’s annual budget, confirmed yesterday (February 9) after a full council meeting.

Road surfaces, lighting and pavements will be the next “area of focus” for improvements, the council said.

Infrastructure councillor Rodney Bass claimed people countywide are already seeing improvements on the roads.

He added: “We know how important this is to people and to businesses and we intend to continue that trend, with our attention now shifting to tackling defects on urban and rural roads and estates, investing in better lighting and better footpaths.”

In 2016/17, £137 million will be invested.

The council could invest in new efficient LED lighting as the overall budget for highways rises 30 per cent.

The money is needed because roads are so important to so many people, said highways councillor Eddie Johnson.

He said: “We have listened when local people have told us that cracks and holes in the roads and pavements matter.

“We have listened when business has told us that getting from A to B easily and quickly helps them to prosper.

“We have listened to the partners who have said that alongside the new homes and jobs we desperately need good infrastructure.”

Finance councillor John Spence said: “The tough financial management we have exercised has enabled us to deliver a budget which we know will help to drive growth and the quality of life in our county, through capital investment in highways and infrastructure.

Source: http://www.eppingforestguardian.co.uk/news/14266869._Scourge__of_Essex_roads_set_for_more_than___300m_investment/

United Utilities tenders £35m Ellesmere Port WwTW main works contract

United Utilities has gone out to tender with a main works contract at its Ellesmere Port  wastewater treatment works worth an estimated £35 million.

The contract covers the design, procurement, construction, commissioning and operation/optimisation of new and refurbished assets of the waste-water treatment facilities at the Ellesmere Port works.

Estimated value of the contract for the wastewater treatment plant construction work is between £25 million to £35 million.

In the event of an award to a consortium, alliance or joint venture all members will be required to contract in any 1 of the following forms:

1) Contractual joint venture with joint and several liability under English Law;

2) Corporate joint venture;

3) Contractor/subcontractor relationship.

Commutes improved as miles of new M6 smart motorway opened

Ministers claim a £100 million upgrade of the M6 through South Staffordshire would ease some of the most torturous journeys every day

Traffic nightmares will be eased after miles of new smart motorway in the West Midlands were officially opened.

Ministers claim a £100 million upgrade of the M6 through South Staffordshire would to improve more than 120,000 of some of the most torturous journeys every day.

There will now be four lanes of smart motorway, running at up to 70mph, between junctions 11a ( Cannock ) and 13 (Stafford).

It will come as blessed relief to many motorists who were caught for hours in two huge motorway logjams in the region last week .

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “The start of full smart motorway running on this section of the M6 will improve journeys for all those who rely on this route.

“By improving connections between Birmingham, London and Manchester, we are helping ensure people up and down the UK benefit from our investment in more reliable, safer roads.”

The latest announcement will mean effectively an extra lane on that busy stretch.

Smart motorways use the latest technology to monitor traffic levels and variable speed limits on overhead electronic signs keep vehicles moving, improving the reliability of journeys.

It has taken more than a million hours of work, 54,000 tonnes of road surface and 55 miles of cabling to transform the busy 10-mile stretch between junctions 10a and 13.

Highways England project manager Dave Cooke said: “The extra lane between junctions 11a and 13 adds valuable extra capacity which will really help traffic at busy times. It follows the upgrade introduced last summer between junctions 10a and 11a. Together this will help improve journeys for millions of people every month.

“The technology means we can vary the speed limit to smooth the flow of traffic at busy times, this also helps prevent congestion caused by stop-start braking which causes queues to build at higher speeds.”

The first part of the M6 smart motorway scheme, a 3.4-mile section between junctions 10a and 11, has been open since September 2015.

However, while this section has three traffic lanes and a hard shoulder, the 6.8 miles from junction 11a to junction 13 has four lanes open permanently.

More than 123 acres of road surface has been laid as part of the combined improvements – enough to cover 70 football pitches.

This has included resurfacing 86 acres of carriageway – the equivalent to 49 football pitches.

Engineers used enough concrete to fill 10 Olympic swimming pools, installed 213 new signs along the route and completed more than 1.1 million man hours.

Source: http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/120000-commutes-improved-miles-new-10856981

Anglian Water unveils £0.5 billion investment plan for 2016/17

Anglian Water has unveiled a half a billion pound investment programme for the year ahead which includes a £9 million spend on flood prevention work.

Announcing the programme, the water company said the investment, part of a £5 billion commitment to 2020, will be paid for by bills of just £1.12 per day, or £411 per year on average – an increase of 1.4 per cent, or 2 pence per day, on last year including inflation.

Bills are still lower than they were three years ago after Anglian Water dropped its prices by 7% last year,  cutting average bills by £29 – the biggest reduction of any major water company in the UK.

The 85 per cent of customers who have a water meter and use it will continue to pay even less, with the average bill at £378, or just over one pound per day.

Martyn Oakley, Anglian Water’s Director of Customer and Information Services, said:

“Bills are back down to what they were three years ago thanks to the reductions we’ve made and the top priority we place on being efficient and offering value for money. We’re keeping costs as low as possible for the long term while investing heavily in the region in line with customer priorities.”

Funding includes £9 million to be invested in flood prevention work

The £444 million to be invested over the next 12 months includes £8million to be invested to reduce flooding from sewers as part of a £45 million focus on flooding that will protect hundreds of properties by 2020. Anglian has also set £1 million aside specifically to match fund flood projects in collaboration with partner agencies, such as local authorities, that are also responsible for the drainage system.

The water company said the money will get more flood prevention schemes off the ground and help to overcome the challenges of often complex ownership responsibilities across the wider drainage network.

The funding for flood partnership projects will enable councils and other organisations to bid for funds to deliver improvements that will prevent flooding inside people’s homes. This is in addition to Anglian Water’s existing planned programme of investment.

The water company said the total £8 million pot of money has been set aside specifically to overcome the challenges presented by the complex, interconnected drainage network that exists in every town and city.

Spend includes £30m on leakage

Other work in Anglian Water’s programme for the next year includes:

  • £30 million to keep leakage levels at industry-leading lows as part of a five year, £60million war on leakage through to 2020
  • £24 million maintaining, refurbishing and replacing parts of the 37,000km water pipe network
  • £15 million for jetting and cleaning sewers to keep them clear of fatbergs and wipes
  • £12 million to connect hundreds more homes to the mains sewerage network for the first time in the next year, with more than £70million investment over the five years to 2020
  • Around £10million – rising to £30million over the next three years – to adopt and refurbish private pumping stations that will become our responsibility in 2017. It will mean reduced energy costs for those customers with one and reduce the risk of flooding or pollution
  • £7 million to survey and refurbish hundreds of kilometres of sewers in places like Southend, Lowestoft, Ipswich, Great Yarmouth and Beccles
  • £2.4 million in sludge and Combined Heat and Power plantsto ensure resilient and efficient renewable supplies, together with five new solar sites going into operation this year.
  •  £1.3 million to protect and improve the region’s coastline and coastal waters by tracing and investigating sources of pollution.