The combined efforts of Highways England contractors who worked tirelessly to repair and rebuild a storm-damaged road in Cumbria have been honoured at the company’s annual Supplier Recognition Scheme awards. Pulling out all the stops, this vital route was repaired, making a real difference to an area where tourism plays a vital part to the local economy.
Kier Highways, and Cubby Construction JV with the local supply chain completed the work three works early, under budget and without a single incident. It meant the local community had the A591 back in action in time for the start of the tourist season and Highways England could notch up a ‘first’ by delivering improvements on a local road network.
The Cumbria nomination was among 130 entries in this year’s awards which also recognised companies for achievements in various fields including safety, customer service, sustainability, capability, value and inclusion.
The supply chain – ranging from small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to international organisations – carries out around 90 per cent of Highways England’s work.
Jim O’Sullivan, Chief Executive of Highways England said:
We need and value the expertise, ambition and innovation our supply chain partners bring, because without them we cannot deliver the £15 billion Government investment.
We have achieved a great deal since April 2015, and there is much more to do. We are responsible for the largest road building programme in a generation, and have thousands of miles of road network that need to be maintained to a high standard. It is imperative that we achieve this while keeping our network open to traffic, and ensuring the safety of our customers and workforce.
That is what our awards are all about, recognising the contribution our supply chain partners make to the important work we do.
Winners and highly commended
Safety, health and wellbeing
Awarded to suppliers who show industry leading commitment to improving organisational, workforce and road user health and safety.
Winner: A-One+ and Postpullers UK Ltd for a collaborative approach to the development of an innovative solution to remove embedded safety barrier posts. The system reduces the safety risks faced by the workforce: requires only one operator, not two or three; reduces the amount of machinery needed to remove the barrier posts and gets the job done more quickly.
Highly commended: HW Martin (Traffic Management) Ltd; Manchester smart motorways (Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain & Bam/Morgan Sindall JV); Carnell Support Services Ltd
Awarded to suppliers who have demonstrated industry leading commitment to customer service.
Winner: Costain for the work they did to get to engage with communities, stakeholders, road users and community teams working alongside the construction team on the A556 Knutsford to Bowden scheme. The work they did demonstrated a clear understanding of our customer service strategy, and enabled them to build upon the basics to improve customer service. To achieve this, they used a wide variety of communication channels from VMS to social media to communicate with customers, alongside using commercial providers such as TomTom and ABTA.
Their whole ethos was to think about things differently. That pro-active, customer focused, lessons learned approach was what elevated this submission into the winning bid.
Highly commended: Carillion Morgan Sindall JV
Awarded to suppliers that have engaged with community groups from the outset, understood what really matters to them and identified ways in which they can work differently.
Winner: Carillion Morgan Sindall JV for work on the A1 Leeming to Barton widening and motorway upgrade. They showed a dedication for changing the face of construction by revolutionising their commitment to social responsibility across the industry, by: proactively working with media to talk about the work they do; health-checks for HGV drivers; showcasing archaeological findings and targeting donations that will positively impact on local communities.
Delivering sustainable and environmental solutions
Awarded to suppliers who have integrated environmental, social, economic and management aspects of sustainable development into the delivery of Highways England contracts.
Winner: Interserve Construction for empowering communities through social value mapping. The company worked alongside an environmental regeneration charity, Groundwork, to track their key objectives. This method enabled a better understanding of the key factors impacting communities where Interserve Construction were operating and their influence on employment, job creation and supply chain spend. This method has ultimately helped Interserve Construction to better identify how they can help Highways England meet their sustainability targets. For example; M3 Black Dam Improvement and M11 Stansted schemes.
Highly commended: Graham Construction
Awarded to suppliers that have created opportunities to bring people into the workplace, developed skills and created an environment where differences are valued and utilised.
Winner: Skanska UK Ltd for their work to initiate and encourage daily conversations with their colleagues, partners, clients and the wider sector about becoming more diverse and inclusive; how together there can be a culture in which everyone feels they can be themselves. They have tracked the impact of this work over the last six years, and have seen an increase in diversity and inclusion engagement scores from 66% to 82%.
Highly commended: VINCI Construction UK Ltd – Taylor Woodrow
Building capacity and capability
Awarded to suppliers that have developed their employees’ skills and capabilities through delivery of Highways England contracts.
Winner: HW Martin (Traffic Management) Ltd for their work in building an employment and skills infrastructure. They actively managed the supply chain, bringing on board people from local SMEs, having a commitment to accessible entry level employment (for people from all backgrounds) and offering training opportunities for local people and SMEs – this includes apprenticeships and a self-funding skills development academy.
Highly commended: Costain M1 smart motorways
Managing down cost/improving value
Awarded to suppliers who have demonstrated significant achievement by delivering Highways England contracts in smarter, more efficient ways.
Winner: A-One+ and Urbis Schreder Ltd for taking an existing lighting unit, used on 24 overhead gantries in Yorkshire to display information to road users, and adapting it to meet Highways England specifications. The result was an improved LED lighting unit, which is more visible to road users (especially at night). In addition, by making these changes, the whole life costs of the units was lowered, disruption to road users reduced (the control gear for the units is installed in the hard shoulder, meaning future maintenance can be done from there, without the need for lane closures) and road worker safety is improved (reduces the need for working from height).
Highly commended: Carnell Support Services Ltd
Supply chain management
Awarded to suppliers that demonstrate Highways England’s strategic agenda, values and principles through supply chains.
Winner and Chairman’s Award: Kier Highways and Cubby Construction JV with local supply chain for the “Reconnecting Cumbria” Project. This saw national, regional and local organisations working together to repair Cumbria’s local road network following an unprecedented series of devastating, severe weather events in December 2015. Through collaboratively working with its supply chain, other contractors and stakeholders including Highways England, Cumbria County Council, Lake District National Park and United Utilities, the winning companies enabled Highways England to deliver works on Cumbria’s local road network – a first for the government company – three weeks early, under budget and without a single incident.
Winner: Kier Highways for their work with BSI and ToweyDuffy in Area 3 to unlock a new certification process which saw the largest number of SMEs achieve the national standard for Collaborative Business relationships (BS11000) as part of a single assessment. Not only did it reduce costs and result in efficiency savings for Highways England, but it has helped promote collaborative working, improved how information is shared and better delivery.
Highly commended: Costain, Aggregate Industries and Walters; Chevron Traffic Management and Kier Highways, HTM, Golden Orb Solutions, Consillium
Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.