The Benefits of Collaboration
“The impact of road improvement schemes needs careful planning. Collaboration is important as it gives equivalent benefits to the needs and priorities of all involved working on road improvement schemes and if this collaboration is deeply embedded from the start- it releases even greater benefits for the projects, road users and the environment.
An example of this is some work we carried out last year on the improvement to the M40 J12 slip road, the dualling of 1400m of the B4451/B4100 and the link to the industrial park at Gaydon. Highways England and Warwickshire County Council worked together to implement urgently needed upgrades in parallel to support the planned expansion of Jaguar Land Rover’s Gaydon facility.
With two projects running together, there was the potential for substantial disruption. They engaged the same traffic management company for the two schemes which enhanced the management of traffic flows for both regular and works traffic and helped avoid traffic management clashes. The scheduled M40 slip road closures could have disrupted deliveries to the dualling scheme, potentially affecting programme schedules and quality. Collaborative planning meetings between the two sites secured an agreement for the surfacing and aggregate suppliers to pass safely through the M40 slip road works with full Chapter 8 compliance.
Collaborative relationships resulted in further benefits that might not have been realised if the schemes were executed in isolation. For example, running in parallel allowed 2,500m3 of clay excavated from the M40 J12 slip road works to be used in the dualling scheme. Less waste was taken to landfill and 600 lorry movements were shortened, totalling a saving of 7,500 road miles.
There has been a lot of talk about collaboration and how essential it is to everyone involved in an infrastructure project. The main benefit of collaboration is that it is the gift which keeps on giving – for example it helps to maintain a safe effective network, reduced the impact on the environment, and secured project timings for both schemes.
As we know in the Gaydon example- being able to run the schemes in parallel ensured that road users only had one period of disruption, rather than one scheme starting just as the other finished.”
Mike Todd is the Lead Business Development Manager for Infrastructure at Osborne.