National Highways and Amey have embarked on a project to create more efficient and cost-effective solutions to delivering small scale patching on the strategic road network. A number of supply chain partners presented their solutions and Multevo were successfully awarded the project.
The project trial focussed on ‘corrective’ patching i.e., fixing the problem alongside planned works, opposed to waiting for the highway defect to develop and thereby require a standalone visit. This pilot complemented National Highways’ three imperatives – safety, customer service and delivery – through elevated operational delivery, significantly less disruption to customers and reduced workforce exposure.
Multevo’s unique methodology consisted of self-delivering a targeted approach to repairs through using the innovative Multihog and planer attachment with integrated dust-suppression system. The compact size of the equipment and operation allowed for a less disruptive delivery method, whilst applying a more precise and efficient repair compared to conventional carriageway surfacing.
The pilot was hugely successful and achieved unprecedented results:
- In total 4,500m2 of carriageway was permanently repaired over the course of 98 shifts. This produced a significant saving of £451,894.18 (43%) and reduced waste by 733.9 tonnes (88%) in comparison to traditional surfacing schemes.
- A major benefit of the trial was an average 30% reduction of workforce exposure on the network and reduced requirement for traditional traffic management closures, due to the Multevo repair method’s productivity and smaller scale operation. This resulted in a saving of £294,000 whilst road user disruption greatly benefited from continued traffic flow.
- A collaborative approach to traffic management enabled National Highways Traffic Officers to implement maintained traffic flow without the need for a full closure, which further minimised disruption to road users by close to 50%.
- The Multevo method is a tried and tested solution for local authority highways, with around 40% of councils operating in this way. Working collaboratively with National Highways and Amey, this approach has proven to be a worthwhile solution for the Area 7 network, allowing a more targeted approach to fix first-time repairs, whilst requiring less time on site, as well as fewer people, plant and vehicles.
- Productivity and efficiency benefits were also supported with a net carbon saving of 30.2 tonnes, when factoring in less materials used and less carbon intensive installation of the process.
- A holistic approach to service delivery provided added flexibility and resilience across the network, with Multevo operatives assisting with additional support for winter maintenance operations, litter picking and sign cleaning, adding value as dedicated contract resource. This was strengthened further with transparent reporting across all partners, utilising the cloud based Multevo App.
- Multevo’s methodology was also proven to be cost effective by only removing the defective area to minimise new reinstatement material and waste transport costs. In addition, the team were flexible in their response to emergency reactive works throughout the trial. The team used existing inhouse resources and labour without incurring mobilisation call-out fees from external third parties.
Business Director for Amey’s Strategic Highways, Stephen Knott said: “As assets deteriorate, they present not only an economic challenge but a carbon challenge too. The materials we select and the associated operational approach and application we choose can dramatically reduce or increase both the financial and carbon costs. Working collaboratively with National Highways and Multevo, we have developed a smarter and more proactive methodology for maintaining the pavement asset and extending its serviceable life.
“Through early identification and grading of defects, we’ve been able to deliver more works concurrently, thereby maximising pound in the ground value, while minimising customer impact and exposure of our colleagues. Plans are already in motion to roll this method out to other highways contracts, delivered by Amey.
“When delivering operational solutions like this, we need to advocate the whole life approach, using our expertise and the expertise of our supply chain to transform our efficiency and carbon ambitions into reality and protect our shared future.”
National Highways Service Manager, Simon Phillips, said: “We know how important it is to the millions of people who use our roads every day that their journeys are smooth, safe and reliable. We are always looking for new and innovative ways to help make that happen and to support National Highways’ imperatives of safety, customer service and delivery. The collaboration between National Highways, Amey and Multevo proved effective in all these areas.
“A large benefit we discovered was the flexibility in deployment allowing a more agile approach as new defects presented themselves. Key to this was the close working arrangements between the partners, bringing together the Multevo system along with excellent inspection and planning as well as Traffic Officer support.
“In addition to reducing disruption for drivers and maintaining the safety of our roads, the carbon savings produced in the trial are to be welcomed as we continue our journey to a net zero target.”
Josh Sweeney, Director of Marketing and Growth at Multevo concludes: “The Multevo method is a tried and tested solution for local roads and the outcomes from the Area 7 trial confirms this approach can bring about huge benefits on the strategic network too. Looking at what has been achieved in just 98 shifts, I am excited to see what we could accomplish together by deploying this methodology over a sustained period.”
Further developments in the provision of this unique service could include utilisation of the Hydrovo, a low carbon Hydrogen and Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) multi-purpose machine to bring further carbon-reduction advantages.
The Hydrovo has the ability for cross-utilisation for road milling as well as cyclical activities and winter service provision on footways and cycleways, as Amey and Multevo consider optimising a future long-term partnership.
Both partners have a track record on successfully delivering innovation together. In 2012, Amey worked with North Lanarkshire Council to adopt the innovative Multihog multi-purpose vehicles for their winter and highways operations, with several other Amey contracts following suit.
In addition, Multevo’s first ever service delivery partnership was with Amey, undertaking permanent patch repairs across the network on behalf of Staffordshire County Council, which continues to go from strength to strength eight years on.