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News from the UK Civils Industry 13th March 2019

Posted by: Melonie Debenham
Industry News

Highways England to place charge points every 20 miles

Highways England has signed a contract to place electric vehicle charge points every 20 miles on motorways and major A roads. Over the next nine months the contract will see more than 50 electric vehicle charging points installed across the UK.

The full seven-year contract has a £2.8m price tag and includes initial installation and commissioning of facilities followed by ongoing operation and maintenance. The contract has been awarded to BP Chargemaster to carry out work in the north of the country and Swarco UK in the south.

Project Lead at Highways England Mark Collins outlined a strategic plan to place charge points in key locations “near to the network, for example at nearby town centres. This shows that we are looking ahead to meet the future demand for this facility. This contract is about supporting drivers of electric vehicles using our network. It will give them additional charging facilities just off England’s motorways and major A roads to help them make longer journeys and reduce the anxiety of potentially running out of power. We look forward to the benefits this will provide drivers on our roads.”

MP and Roads Minister Jesse Norman applauded the initiative’s goals and highlighted the benefits to businesses and travellers. “The Government wants the UK to be the best place in the world to own an electric vehicle, leading the way to a zero emission future,” he said. “Installing extra vehicle charging points along or nearby our motorways and main roads will help more businesses and people to make longer, cleaner and greener journeys in their electric vehicles.”

David Martell, chief executive of BP Chargemaster, said: “We are very proud to be working with Highways England to expand the provision of rapid charging points so that an even greater number of drivers can make the switch to electric.”

Justin Meyer, General Manager at Swarco eVolt, added: “We are delighted to have been selected by Highways England for this project to expand the national network of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.”

Navartis Business Manager and Civils Recruitment Specialist Melonie Debenham commented: “It’s great to see Highways England taking the lead in this area. At Navartis we have placed senior technical professionals onto similar highways projects, and we look forward to continuing our involvement moving forward.” Full story.

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Northumbrian Water starts £1.8 million flood reduction scheme

Northumbrian Water has commenced work on a North Tyneside flood reduction scheme with a £1.8m budget.

Northumbrian Water′s supply partners, Esh-Stantec will work in partnership with North Tyneside Council on the project which will incorporate sustainable drainage solutions and should be completed by the end of October 2019.
Ashley Ferguson, Northumbrian Water′s Project Manager, said: “We′re committed to reducing the risk of flooding to our customers′ homes and businesses, so we′re pleased to begin work on this scheme. We′ve been talking to residents about this scheme over the last twelve months and we′ve redesigned some of our plans, as a result of the feedback we′ve had.”
The scheme is part of Northumbrian Water’s Rainwise initiative, designed to help protect residents from flooding by using sustainable drainage solutions or ‘SuDS′ and will include a new sewer pipe and a series of grassed basins.
SuDS use landscaped areas which are seeded with wild flowers and trees and shrubs to manage rainwater naturally, which takes the pressure off the sewer network. The water is stored temporarily during heavy rainfall, before being slowly released back into the sewer network when capacity is available again. Full story.

Yorkshire Water publishes first workforce diversity report

Yorkshire Water has committed itself to being one the UK’s most transparent companies by becoming one of the first businesses to publish its workforce diversity report. They hope that this will encourage other businesses to follow suit which will ultimately lead to a more equal and diverse industry workforce.

The ethnic pay gap figure, currently 3%, appears in the company’s first workforce diversity report and shows how the workforce breaks down at all levels by gender and ethnicity. The company has also published a limited amount of data relating to disability in the workforce.

Yorkshire Water wants to let the data speak for itself so offers very little commentary on the findings. The company hopes to enter into an open dialogue with its colleagues in the business.

The report shows a male-dominated workforce (67%) but takes the opportunity to set out Yorkshire Water’s diversity objectives.

Yorkshire Water’s Chief Executive Richard Flint said: “We made a commitment to take a leading position on openness and transparency and this report is an important part of that commitment. We intend to have an open dialogue with other large employers, such as local authorities, so that we can align our efforts to improve the diversity of our workforce with theirs and ensure we are working collaboratively.” Full story.

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