Four million people use Highways England’s Strategic Road Network (SRN) each day. This is forecast to grow by a further 40% by 2040 with the cost of congestion expected to increase by 63% by 2030.
Over the coming decades, both the SRN and local assets will require constant upgrades, maintenance and expansion to handle the increased reliance on our road networks. This traditionally means an increase in roadworks and delays as a result of further closures, reduced speed limits and increased congestion.
Today, Balfour Beatty has launched the latest of its policy papers, “Customer Driven: Delivering roads for the future”, presenting an alternative way of delivering highways works to dramatically improve customer satisfaction, by evolving the way in which contractors deliver works.
While Highways England introduced a stronger focus on the customer, the road users, following its establishment in 2015, more is required; contractors must also broaden their customer-focused culture and play their part in responding to the evolving needs of the customer.
With eight key points and recommendations outlined within the paper, Balfour Beatty presents a number of ideas to address the issues, based around two key themes:
- Improving the customer experience through better communications
- Reducing the amount of time roadworks take, utilising new technology with the ultimate goal of roadworks rarely being necessary
Phil Clifton, Managing Director of Balfour Beatty’s Highways business, said, “In today’s digital age, we must provide a digital solution. With technology infiltrating all aspects of life, customers expect the same level of technological advancement in their journeys on the road; industry must adapt to respond to this expectation.
“We must embrace technology, both in our construction practices and communication with customers, if we are to become a truly future-focussed highways industry”.
You can read the paper in full here.
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1 Department for Transport, Transport Investment Strategy, 2017
2 The Centre for Economics and Business Research, October 2014
Notes to editors:
- Balfour Beatty (balfourbeatty.com) is a leading international infrastructure group. With 28,000 employees, we provide innovative and efficient infrastructure that underpins our daily lives, supports communities and enables economic growth. We finance, develop, build and maintain complex infrastructure such as transportation, power and utility systems, social and commercial buildings.
- Our main geographies are the UK & Ireland, US and Far East. Over the last 100 years we have created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world including the London Olympics’ Aquatic Centre, Hong Kong’s first Zero Carbon building, the National Museum of the Marine Corps in the US and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.
- Balfour Beatty’s highways business designs, constructs and manages many of the UK’s major highways. The business also delivers complex Design Build Finance Operate and Early Contractor Involvement schemes.
- Through constant innovation and the use of cutting-edge technology, Balfour Beatty supports clients to deliver optimal highways experiences to the travelling public, better connecting communities and creating more reliable and safer journeys. From project conception through to completion, Balfour Beatty has a continued focus on future proofing its schemes. This includes creating smart motorways and preparing routes to welcome autonomous vehicles.
- Current projects include Balfour Beatty’s £292m construction contract to widen a critical and complex 10-mile stretch of the existing A14, as part of Highways England’s £1.5bn A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme. The team also has extensive experience of using the latest technology to tackle congestion and is working towards the completion of Manchester Smart Motorway scheme M62 junctions 18-20 and M60 junctions 8-10.
- Recently completed Highways schemes include the £70m dualling scheme to upgrade a 2.5 mile section of the A21 in Kent from single to dual carriageway. The project has delivered a safer and more streamlined route for the travelling public, also supporting the local economy in this area of Kent.