Each day, miles of motorway and main trunk road in England is inspected to identify where repairs need to be made.
Emergencies are reported by the inspection teams as they are found, others are planned and scheduled as part of ongoing maintenance and upgrade programmes.
The responsibility for this lies with Highways England. They divide the country into 13 network areas, some of which are managed in house with specialist companies appointed as contractors for the remaining.
A-one+, an equally shared joint venture made up of three parent companies; CH2M, Colas and Costain, is one such specialist organisation.
They have contracts to manage three areas covering Kent and Sussex, the North East and Yorkshire and Humber. Each contract typically lasts five years and has a value of between £115m and £475m.
It was midway through 2016 that A-one+ was awarded the Kent and Sussex contract. This meant having to mobilise quickly to ensure the right resources were in place to deliver these critical national infrastructure services from day one. An urgent requirement was to provide the communications services to support 150 office based staff across Kent and Sussex who need to work closely with the 100 strong team in the field. Another of the areas had an end of life PBX which needed replacing.
As well as highway maintenance, A-one+ is responsible for severe weather management, coordinating fleets of gritters, snow ploughs and supplies of salt and brine to keep the roads clear in the depths of winter as well as dealing with incidents such as the collapse of a bridge over the M20 which happened just a few months after the award of the contract in Kent. So it’s clear that the availability of effective communication tools to enable rapid decisions and actions to be taken as well as ensuring that agencies such as Local Authorities, emergency services and news outlets as well as road users and residents can be engaged quickly and easily is absolutely critical.