One year on: community and shared values at heart of Area 7 partnership

27 June 2017
sped up image of a highway.
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Amey and Highways England are celebrating a successful first year for their innovative new partnership on the maintenance of the Area 7 road network.

The new asset delivery model sees greater collaboration between a community of highways operators and suppliers and a commitment to minimising disruption on roads while work is taking place through a more joined up approach.

Members of East Midlands Asset Delivery working on behalf of Highways England, include a Maintenance and Response Contractor (Amey), Design Contractor (Kier), and a framework of 21 suppliers delivering capital works. All partners have agreed a shared vision and set of values and, since the model was launched on 1 July 2016, everyone has been working hard to ensure that collaboration remains at the heart of daily operations.

Despite the fact that organisations in the partnership vary greatly in size, the ethos is that all have an equal voice and that everyone is committed to delivering a road network of the highest standard for the East Midlands. A Collaborative Management Toolkit is a key element of this new approach – this ensures that all partners are not only complying with the same standards for health and safety, customer service and delivery, but also that there is joint working on issues such as sharing road space, with a focus on minimising disruption to road users.

Amey is the Maintenance and Response Contractor for a term of 15 years. This provides a stabilising influence that helps with building long-term, productive relationships with other partners. As the Maintenance and Response contractor, Amey is involved at an early stage to ensure that multiple activities are included within traffic management where possible.

An example of this new approach working well is the flagship A42 major maintenance scheme. Works on a section of the A42 between the M1 and Junction 13 were programmed to ensure that the section remains maintenance free while other major projects are completed in the area. The scheme, which included Amey, Highways England and a local authority sharing road space, finished on time, at an estimated £500,000 under the £6million budget.

David Pugh, Amey’s Account Director, said: “We are delighted that Highways England’s new model is working well and that all organisations are operating in a collaborative way to make it a success. We are now looking forward to helping Highways England share learnings about how to make this way of working a success as similar models go live.”

Adrian Oulds Highways England’s Head of Service Delivery for the East Midlands said: “The support we have had from Amey and the wider supply chain community during the first 12 months of Asset Delivery has been excellent. Mobilising a new contract is always a challenge but it really does feel like the East Midlands contract is starting to take shape. We are already sharing our experiences with other regions and as we embark on a new financial year we look forward to realising further success for the whole community. ”

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