The Only Way Is Osborne

Osborne pride themselves on delivering clear and up to date information to local communities to support the delivery of their highway’s schemes and improvements.

In Essex this is proven through our works in conjunction with Highways England. Since 2017 we have delivered almost 30 schemes, working hard with delivery teams at the planning stage to minimise the impact on the local community, businesses and the wider economy. This results in the creation of clear communication to these stakeholders and the liaison teams receiving minimal or no questions or complaints.

One example is the requirement for five separate locations of work needed along a 12 mile stretch of the A12. Carrying out these works individually would have caused huge disruption to people in the area. Collaborative planning meant that the works could be carried out through one set of Traffic Management – meaning one diversion, one set of closure times and one clear message delivered to audiences through a variety of channels. We’ve also put additional signage in place to help local businesses, improved visual landscaping along the A11 with the removal of unsafe vegetation and trees and replaced with saplings or semi-mature trees, wildflowers and grass seeding all in keeping with area characteristics, and opened overnight westbound closures an hour earlier (by 5am) to help traffic flows travelling to Harwich Port.

All works are communicated to carefully identified stakeholders well ahead of commencement. We issue letters, newsletters and emails to residents and businesses in affected areas along with key stakeholders, such as local authorities, emergency services, traffic generators and ports. Face to face briefings take place with parish councils, local authorities and partners to inform of upcoming and ongoing schemes and identify any potential issues, and areas for collaboration to further improve the community such as litter picking or in the case of the scheme detailed above; the installation of a new gas line meaning that one resident could return home early and in time for Christmas.

Where works are more contentious, we ensure that we carry out more in-depth engagement. For example, the bridge works over the River Blackwater on the A120 was causing serious concern for residents living next to the bridge and along the river for their properties, pets and local wildlife. Visits and meetings with them and the parish council meant that we could discuss concerns and they could share local knowledge enabling us to adapt the scheme by amending working times to cause minimal impact. One resident said:

“We have been very impressed with your men who have been very professional and considerate throughout the works. It has been very quiet for us and we have not been disturbed at all.

[The site manager] has been very good keeping us informed and discussing the works and timing with us. He has also managed everything relating to our sluice gates, including the weekly opening of them and stopping the back flow from the lake.”

Osborne hope to continue a high level of service to its customers and people within the areas we work.