BNM Alliance to deliver £60m Newark scheme for Severn Trent

Severn Trent has appointed the BNM Alliance to carry out work on its multi-million pound investment to help protect homes in Newark from sewer flooding and ensure the town has a reliable water supply for many decades to come.

The BNM Alliance comprising NMCNomenca and Barhale plc, will deliver the three year, £60 million project, to replace more than 20 kilometres of pipes, which will include a 2.8 metre diameter tunnel travelling beneath Newark’s streets.

Severn Trent’s programme manager Tim Sawyer explained how vital the work is for homes and businesses in the town:

“Newark is expanding rapidly and this is putting pressure on our ageing infrastructure. The existing water and sewer pipes in Newark have been serving the community for many years, but they are simply no longer able to cope with the extra demands being placed on them.”

“The result is an increased risk of interruptions to our customer’s water supply and, more worryingly, an unacceptable increase in the number of sewer flooding incidents. Sewer flooding is one of the worst things that can happen to our customers and we know that there are around 400 properties currently at risk of sewer flooding in the Newark area. This is not acceptable – and that’s why we have to do something about it.”

Commenting on the partnership with Severn Trent, Stuart Proud, managing director of NMCNomenca, a division of North Midland Construction PLC, commented:

“I am absolutely delighted that we are undertaking such an important scheme for our long-standing client Severn Trent. We both recognise how crucial this work is for the people of Newark and we will be working together to make sure we engage with the community every step of the way.”

Dennis Curran, Chairman of Barhale plc added:

“We are delighted to be part of the team to deliver such a strategically important scheme for Severn Trent Water improving the water and waste water infrastructure in Newark. This scheme will again give rise to engagement with the local community allowing a legacy to be left in Newark and the surrounding areas for many years to come.”

The work, which will start later this year, will include a 2.8 metre diameter tunnel from Crankley Point sewage treatment works to the southern end of Millgate and a 1.5 metre diameter tunnel under Queens Road and Sleaford Road.

Severn Trent has also separately confirmed it is planning to invest £6 million in a brand new underground water storage reservoir, and three miles of new water pipes from Cowleigh Road to Lower Wyche in Malvern. The work, which will begin in mid-August, will last for approximately 12 months

£1m initiative launched to get young people into construction

An initiative aimed at encouraging more young people into a career in construction has been launched by Lloyds Bank, property group Lendlease and Newham Council.

Funded by the £1 million Lloyds Bank Construction Skills Fund, the Lloyds Bank Construction Skill Centre initiative will be delivered by Newham Council and Lendlease. It was provided to deliver training, education and recruitment initiatives from 2016 to 2020.

Ed Thurman, group ambassador for London and managing director, financial institution, Lloyds Banking Group, said the fund was launched last year to “provide focused skills training in the construction sector and drive our commitment to helping Britain, and London, prosper”.

The skills centre is based at International Quarter London, Lendlease’s £2.4 billion development located near to the Queen Elizabeth Park in Stratford.

Newham Council will use the skills centre through its job brokerage service Workplace to host a series of education, information and training activities, showcasing construction career opportunities. The skills centre will aim to enable Workplace to increase the delivery of “bespoke training” for Newham residents, to support them to gain construction skills in preparation for their first job on site.

Additionally, the fund will deliver a programme of educational activity aimed at inspiring children and young people to become the next generation of construction workers. Construction specialists will be asked to become ambassadors for the industry as part of this.

Newham Council saw off competition from three other bidders to secure the £1million fund.

Terence Paul, mayoral adviser for skills and adult learning, Newham Council, said the initiative will provide a “unique centre which will equip young people with the skills necessary to work in a variety of different construction roles, both onsite and in managerial jobs.”

He continued: “Workplace’s success is built on close and trusting partnerships with employers. Rapid economic development means the construction sector in Newham is booming and it is essential that we work closely with developers to ensure our residents can make the most of any job opportunities created.”

Ian Crockford, project director at International Quarter London added: “Addressing the construction skills gap is a critical issue and giving local people access to career and training opportunities has never been more important for the construction industry.”

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A £10,000 prize is up for grabs for anyone finding a novel digital technology-based way of minimising the impact of roadworks on traffic.

A £10,000 prize is up for grabs for anyone finding a novel digital technology-based way of minimising the impact of roadworks on traffic.

Staffordshire County Council and contractor Amey are running the contest, which is being backed by roadworks database firm Elgin and innovation consultant Tenshi.

The Dare to Solve: Roadworks contest aims to unearth solutions to help local authorities, utility companies and their contractors communicate with the public, and help people understand and prepare for planned and emergency works.

The contest offers start-ups and entrepreneurs funding to develop and trial their proposal in Staffordshire with the two contractors.

Firms are already using data and new technologies to minimise the impact of roadworks on road users.

This includes platforms to enable more joined up works planning and execution, and innovative no-dig technologies such as robots to “live” in utilities pipes where they can constantly inspect and repair infrastructure.

While these developments have the potential to reduce cost and duration, any disruption caused by roadworks is still highly visible and quickly felt by local residents, motorists and businesses.

The winning entrepreneur will retain 100% of their IP and will receive mentoring and promotion to help bring their solutions to market.

Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport Mark Deaville said: “Staffordshire County Council is committed to improving how we manage and maintain our roads while minimising the impact of these essential works on residents, businesses and visitors.

We’re looking forward to seeing how data and emerging technologies can be exploited to help people understand and prepare for changes to their roads, avoid traffic congestion and delays, and feel less disruption to their daily lives due to roadworks.”

A  briefing event will be held on Thursday 29 June in London or anyone interested can apply  by the 12 noon 15 July deadline. Questions? Get in touch by emailing


Scottish Water awards £1.6m laboratory services contract

Scottish Water awards £1.6m laboratory services contract

Scottish Water has awarded a contract for laboratory services under its Chemical Investigations Programme (CIP2) worth an estimated £1.6 million.

Scottish Water Scientific Services is required to deliver a programme of analysis arising from the Chemical Investigations programme in Scotland between 2015 and 2017 to understand the impact of priority and priority hazardous substances from sewage treatment works on the environment.

The requirements under the contract include:

  • Waste-water treatment works influent and final effluent monitoring for priority hazardous substances, priority substances and specific pollutants and pharmaceuticals.
  • River water quality analysis up and downstream of the waste water treatment works listed under for priority hazardous substances, priority substances and specific pollutants and pharmaceuticals.
  • Waste-water treatment works sludge monitoring for priority hazardous substances, priority substances and specific pollutants and pharmaceuticals.

Two companies were in the bidding for the two year contract, which has been awarded to Coventry- headquartered firm Als Environmental.

Eurovia UK signs CIHT Charter to improve diversity and inclusion

Eurovia UK is proud to be working with the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) to continue to make, and strengthen the case for diversity and inclusion. Therefore we have signed the Charter to show our commitment to this initiative.

The CIHT has launched the Diversity and Inclusion Charter on National Women in Engineering Day, to help embed a change in culture in the highways and transportation industry.

By signing the Charter, we believe that a commitment to diversity and inclusion is essential and makes business sense as it helps to attract and retain the best talent, it enables us to understand and meet clients’ needs more effectively and so provide a better quality service.

In accordance with the Charter, as a business we will strive to achieve best practice in our recruitment, retention and career progression practices as employers, support the development of good diversity and inclusion practice by collecting and sharing examples of practical activities that contribute to progress with CIHT and other signatories, assign responsibility for meeting our Charter Commitments to a named, senior level individual, work together to develop and adopt future protocols and practice that support the implementation of the aims of this Charter, recognise, respect, capitalise and celebrate contributions from different people to strengthen team performance and display the CIHT diversity and inclusion logo to publically demonstrate our commitment to this agenda.

CIHT launched Routes to Diversity & Inclusions in October 2015. This was the first toolkit designed specifically for and with the Highways and Transportation sector to help employers recruit, retain and develop a diverse workforce. However, CIHT considers the toolkit to be just the first step towards improving the diversity and inclusion culture in highways and transportation to enable the industry to reap the proven business benefits of workplace diversity. By signing the CIHT’s Charter this is a positive next step towards that goal.

Scottish Water awards £18m sewer survey contract

Scottish Water has awarded a contract for sewer survey services worth an estimated £18 million.

RPS Group Plc and Onsite Central Ltd have both been appointed on the contract, which will run for 6 years with an additional six 1 year extension options.

The main scope of service under the contract is the provision of short term flow surveys. However, inside the scope of service, the suppliers will also be required to undertake manhole and ancillary surveys, incorporating pumping station surveys, combined sewer overflow surveys and impermeable area surveys, as well as CCTV surveys.

Stunning time-lapse of Coventry Ring Road

Fascinating footage features day and night images of iconic stretch of city road

Two Coventry creatives – Mark Mitrofaniuk and Mark Saunders – have created a fascinating short film featuring the A4053.

Back in 2014, the duo released a remarkable video, which features just under two minutes of Ring Road time-lapse footage.

One of the men behind the video, Mark Mitrofaniuk, told the Telegraph: “My inspiration is simple really: create something – and avoid being hypnotised by the TV.

“I have to attempt an idea to see if it works or not – go outside with the camera tripod and a small idea and see what happens.”

Mark took hundreds of photos of the iconic stretch of Ring Road, using an intervalometer, an attachment or facility on a camera that operates the shutter regularly at set intervals over a period of time.

Mark adds: “I remember attempting a stop go animation with plasticine with the help of my Grandad Eric.

“He used to film all sorts from his family growing up in the 1960s and 1970s to stop go animation.

“This time-lapse video is essential the same technique but just a little easier.”

The short video, which can be seen above, features footage shot by Mark over music created by fellow Coventry creative DJ Enfusion, aka Mark Saunders.

Mark says: “He found a suitable track that I loved that had an old school feel to it, like the good old days of the city’s rave scene at the Eclipse nightclub.

“The first edit was done without the music and it looked good but it was not very interesting.

“The second edit was produced with the music and it gave the video more substance.

“Watch the video with no music and it doesn’t work.

“Photography, Coventry and the music inspired me just to create something.”

Meanwhile, a project bringing together nine writers and nine filmmakers is aiming to produce a series of ‘poetry films’ about Coventry Ring Road.

Disappear Here, a project which has already secured support from Coventry City Council and the team behind the city’s UK City of Culture bid for 2021, has already received a conditional grant offer from Arts Council England.


VolkerHighways extend with West Berkshire Council for a further seven years

Following the success of a previous collaboration, West Berkshire Council has awarded VolkerHighways a seven-year public realm contract, worth £10 million per year. The contract will begin on 1st October 2016 and will provide highways, bridges and lighting maintenance services throughout the district. The work will cover some 1,278km of urban and rural highway network.

Working with the Council’s Highways and Transport department, the VolkerHighways team will inspect and maintain the roads, street lights and pavements. They will also undertake improvement schemes, salt the roads and provide a full emergency response service.

VolkerHighways has delivered many successful collaborations with West Berkshire Council in recent years. Since July 2015, the team has been working on a £7.2 million project to upgrade over 10,000 of the district’s street lights with energy efficient LED lamps.

Alistair Thompson, managing director of VolkerHighways said: “We are absolutely delighted by this opportunity to further develop our relationship with West Berkshire Council. We’re particularly pleased to be taking on a project which so directly supports the local communities within the district.”

Councillor Garth Simpson, executive member for Highways and Transport, said: “VolkerHighways have worked with us successfully since 2006 to look after our road network, footpaths and streetlights. It’s important we look after this infrastructure and the contract with VolkerHighways allows us to maintain our roads efficiently and with the best value for our residents.”


Water engineers forced to request police escorts after spate of fire hydrants being set off in soaring temperatures

A high pressure jet of cold water was seen streaming onto the road in Gorton after it was vandalised

Water engineers have been forced to request police escorts following a spate of fire hydrants being set off in soaring temperatures.

And utilities bosses are warning they will take legal action after nine hydrants were illegally activated in Manchester and Salford in just 48 hours.

In one case, police were called out to assist engineers as they tried to repair a leaking fire hydrant in Harpurhey on Sunday night but were abused by an angry crowd.

On the same evening United Utilities were called out to Salford to shut down seven tampered fire hydrants.

And a further incident took place on Monday, as Mancheser was officially Britain’s hottest city with temperatures of 26C.

A high pressure jet of cold water was seen streaming onto the road in Gorton after it was vandalised.

Video footage, captured by Colin Mortimer, shows vehicles being sprayed as litres of water shoot out onto the Gorton Lane.

Water bosses say tampering with fire hydrants causes misery for householders as well as major problems for fire service crews if they need to access an emergency.

United Utilities warned that it would prosecute anyone who tampered with the hydrants.

A spokesman said: “We are grateful to the public for capturing these incidents on video and in pictures and we will use these images as evidence.

“A lot of these fire hydrants are used by the fire service in tackling fires.

“It lowers the water pressure for householders and for the fire service. It’s just mindless vandalism.

“It’s down to the weather at this time of year.

“We would ask our customers to take videos and pictures of any incidents like this and send them to us.”

UU said residents are likely to experience reduced water pressure in their homes until the fault is fixed.

Bosses have warned that anyone found vandalising fire hydrants will be prosecuted and UU will impose statutory powers under the Water Industry Act.

There are currently hundreds of thousands of fire hydrants located across the North West. UU is currently working to roll out ‘anti-tamper devices’ on some hydrants.

Anyone who would like to report an incident of vandalism can call police on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or United Utilities on 0800 330 033.

India’s roads melt as record-breaking heat wave continues

emperatures hit a record-breaking 51C in the city of Phalodi, Rajasthan on Friday

India’s on-going heat wave, which set a new record for the country’s highest-ever recorded temperature last week, is melting tarmac on the roads of some of India’s busiest cities.

Residents in the city of Valsad, Gujarat, had to fight melting tar while crossing the road as temperatures rose to 36C.

Video footage from NDTV shows people becoming trapped on a melting road surface as their shoes stick in the softening tarmac.

Abandoned sandals are seen strewn across the sticky roadway and a woman falls over as she attempts to carry a heavy bag over the road.

Temperatures in parts of western India exceeded 50C on Friday.The record – a scorching 51C – was set in the city of Phalodi, in the western state of Rajasthan. The previous high was 50.6C in 1956 in the city of Alwar, also in Rajasthan.

Indian weather officials have warned of more frequent heat waves as the scorching temperatures cause an increase in dehydration and heatstroke cases, as well as triggering widespread power cuts as surging demand overwhelms supply grids.

Hundreds of people have died as crops have withered in the fields in more than 13 states, forcing tens of thousands of small farmers to abandon their land and move into the cities. Others have killed themselves rather than go to live in urban shanty towns.

Rivers, lakes and dams have dried up in many parts of the western states of Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

The heat wave has struck as India contends with a major drought and worsening water shortages that have affected around 330 million people.

“We are praying to the gods for an early monsoon so that people get some relief, as the heat has taken a toll on our bodies,” said Neeraj Kumar, a resident of the northern industrial city of Kanpur. “We are not even able to do our daily chores properly.”

May and June are typically India’s hottest months and temperatures regularly exceed 40C in the run-up to the monsoon rains, but the severity of this year’s heat had been unprecedented.

“There are usually thunderstorms this time of year, but these rains have not been occurring,” said BP Yadav, head of the national weather forecasting centre of the India Meteorological Department.

“Hot winds have been blowing in from Afghanistan and Pakistan, leading to these extreme temperatures.”

The heat is expected ease with the arrival of clouds and light showers this week, said Mr Yadav, however his office forecast a return to the high temperatures in late May or early June.

Reasons for the excessively high temperatures range from global warming to greater urbanisation, Mr Yadav said.

The number of heat waves has nearly doubled in the 10 years to 2010 from earlier decades, the meteorological office said.