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News from the UK Civils Industry 8th May 2019

Posted by: Melonie Debenham
08/05/2019
Industry News

North Yorkshire road upgrades get underway

Work has commenced on repairing and upgrading 350 miles of roads across North Yorkshire to guarantee them for the next ten years.

2019 will see £10m invested in improving stretches of road as part of North Yorkshire county council’s annual surface dressing programme.

In the past five years 1,800 miles of the county’s 5,800 miles of road have been treated. Surface dressing is used by highways as a low cost alternative to resurfacing which is more expensive and causes more disruption. The council says it offers added protection to carriageways as well as enhancing the skid resistance, making it safer to drive on.

The system involves bitumen being sprayed on the roads which are covered in chippings which are rolled to embed them. Traffic is then allowed onto the road to help embed the chippings further. A strict 20mph limit is imposed to prevent damage and allow the surface to stabilise. Loose chippings are swept to remove loose ones once the bitumen is set with another sweep carried out after seven days to take off any remaining loose chippings.

County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Highways, said: “Maintaining the county’s extensive road network for residents, businesses and visitors is among our highest priorities. Surface dressing enables us to do more with the money we have available. It is comparatively low-cost at a fifth of the price of resurfacing, so we can treat a much larger proportion of the road network each year, preventing the need for much more expensive work later. It is also a quick process, so minimises inconvenience to local residents and motorists.” Full story.

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Water sector launches future vision initiative

Organisations from the water sector are joining forces to create a new, ambitious vision for the future.

The move, coordinated by regulators, government, industry and the Consumer Council for Water, will see the sector develop a new long-term vision to guide it towards having the most positive impact possible on society and the environment.

The water sector is confronting climate change, population growth and greater customer expectations. In recent years it has come under pressure to prove it is doing the right things for customers and the environment and acting in the right way to secure continued public trust.

Consumer Council for Water Chief Executive, Tony Smith, said: “There is no escaping the enormous challenges facing the water sector which we will only overcome if everyone is pulling in the same direction, towards a common vision. Companies need to show they can be trusted as stewards of our water resources for current and future generations. The sector cannot afford to fail consumers or the environment.”

The sector wants to develop a clear, common vision which all parties in the industry will work towards. Following discussion with customers and stakeholders, three common themes have emerged to form the basis of a draft joint vision: importance of the sector delivering everyday excellence; long-term stewardship of the environment, assets and relationships with customers; and importance for the sector to add value - value for money as well as adding value to communities and the environment.

The sector has published its draft vision to invite feedback from those interested in the water sector. The responses will shape the new vision.

Michael Roberts Chief Executive of Water UK, the body which represents all the UK water companies, said: “We all need to work together – companies, customers, regulators, policymakers and stakeholders – to deliver a flourishing future for water. Public policy needs to walk in step with public expectations, and industry needs to work in harmony with the environment and the communities they operate in.”

Environment Agency Chief Executive, Sir James Bevan, said the water industry faces significant challenges from climate change and population growth which must be met while improving the environment for future generations. “Together with government and other regulators we will encourage water companies to be more bold and strategic to meet these challenges,” he said. Full story.

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