XAIS Asset Management’s skilled team and powerful XA© software both played an important role in helping Nottingham City Council secure a significant grant from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund, according to the company.
Nottingham City Council secured £18 million through the fund in October 2021, for a package of measures that will improve the condition of residential streets, encourage more walking and cycling to school, and enable the installation of energy-efficient street lighting and electric vehicle charging in communities.
Each ward will receive a share of the funding, with local councillors involved in prioritising how it should be spent based on feedback from local residents.
The fund is being invested in three ways:
- Streets for people – £8.5 million – This will be split between each ward, with the areas most in need getting proportionately more funding. The works will be identified by local people and prioritised by ward councillors. This could include work to improve the condition of pavements, roads, and cycle ways to make sustainable travel a more attractive option
- School Streets – £1.5 million – Building on the existing schemes funded through the Active Travel Fund, this will involve measures to encourage more walking, cycling and scooting to school
- Greener Streets – £8 million – This will involve a large scale upgrade of street lighting in the city to bring the lamps up to LED standard, contributing to significant energy savings. Under this theme, the council will also expand its network of community electric vehicle charging points serving residential areas with limited off-street parking.
When putting a business case together for the £8.5 million Streets for People part of the bid, Nottingham City Council worked with XAIS Asset Management to help them demonstrate current maintenance need across the network and then show future maintenance need based on different scenarios at various investment levels.
Getting a clear and reliable picture
The first step involved an audit of existing data to ensure that it was of high enough quality to support a robust and compelling business case.
To ensure accuracy and quality, the XAIS Asset Management Team collected Annual Engineers Inspection (AEI) survey data to verify precise scheme lengths and utilised XAIS iV to undertake 360° high-definition video surveys of the entire network to ensure accuracy of carriageway widths.
By combining this high-quality data with detailed analysis of three years’ worth of unit rates, the bid team was able to establish a clear understanding of current maintenance need.
Predicting the future
Having established a reliable picture of the current landscape, focus turned to predicting future need.
This involved the XAIS Asset Management Team developing a Carriageway Condition Projection Model to demonstrate the effects of budget changes in highway maintenance in ten years.
This process shows the long-term consequences of continuing to invest at present levels, by modelling the continued deterioration of roads and footways and understanding future funding needs through Lifecycle Planning.
XA© proves its power and flexibility
With correctly formatted and high-quality survey data loaded into XA©, the team worked on a bespoke configuration of the system to ensure the output and results are based on ‘real’ scenarios – giving the council a reliable output for decision making.
This tailoring involved decisions around:
- Treatment Definition – what treatments will be used for the respective conditions
- Treatment Selection Rules – using a decision tree to identify which sections will be treated and with which solution
- Scheme Parameters – this defines the rules on which maintenance schemes will be selected
- Condition Projection – this is used to estimate the future levels of deterioration on the network based on current condition factors and is linked to the lifecycle of the asset
With a precisely tailored XA© system, the bid team was able to process the data against a number of different budget and investment levels to understand long-term impact.
On completion, the report showed that by increasing investment in the correct areas, there would be an overall saving in maintenance need.
Importantly, the high quality of the data and the reliability of the Condition Projection Modelling, demonstrated the quality of the business case being put forward by the Nottingham City Council team.
Commenting on the support received from XAIS Asset Management, Mark Bradbury, Contracts & Compliance Manager at Nottingham City Council, said: “We were delighted with the support we received from XAIS Asset Management to help us secure the £8.5 million grant from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund. The technical skill, software capability and attention to detail were exemplary throughout the process. The team was on hand at every stage to help with any questions and their commitment to quality ensured our business case was rock solid.”
James Wallis, Executive Director at XAIS Asset Management, added: “We’re delighted to have played our part in helping Nottingham secure this important funding. We are committed to helping local authorities collect, manage and analyse high quality data to make effective strategic decisions and manage their highways assets in the best way possible.”