Road Resurfacing Contracts Revealed

Road Resurfacing Contracts Revealed

8th Apr 2021

Yorkshire will be among the regions benefitting from extensive resurfacing work confirmed by Highways England this week.

The body named its contractor partners to carry out work on England’s concrete roads, with the £218 million deal seeing Morgan Sindall and John Sisk carrying out reconstruction operations over a five-year period.

These road surfacing contractors will carry out the work on a design and build basis, with existing surfaces being demolished and replaced with new materials.

In addition, £67 million of lifecycle extension works will be undertaken by VolkerFitzpatrick, Colas, Dyer & Butler and Tarmac, which will help increase the life of existing concrete surfaces on motorways and A roads.

Overall, England has more than 400 miles of concrete roads, with Yorkshire being among the regions were they are most common. Most were built in the 1960s and 70s, meaning they are overdue for repairs. Many are carrying up to 25 per cent more traffic than they were designed for.

Highways England regional director Martin Fellows, commented: “This is the biggest concrete road renewals programme we have ever embarked on.”

He said the contracts confirmed this week will “help us deliver the maximum benefits of safe, reliable and smooth journeys for many years to come.”

The repaired roads will see their lifespans extended by another ten years, while the entirely new surfaces will be made to last for 40 years.

Yorkshire roads will be included in the latest phase of the five-year plan, which began last year with work to improve roads in the East of England.

Focused on the A11, A12, A14 and M11, this work will, when completed, led to the replacement of half of the concrete road surfaces in the region.  

Beyond repairing concrete roads in Yorkshire, future possible Highways England schemes that may take place in the county during the next five years include the A1 between Doncaster and Darrington, the A64 at Hopgrove and the M1/M62 Lofthouse Interchange.

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New Footpaths And Cycleways Set For Taunton?

New Footpaths And Cycleways Set For Taunton?

6th Apr 2021

There are proposals to create a series of new footpaths and cycleways in Taunton as part of new green infrastructure that would help to open up the town and riverfront, Somerset County Gazette reported.

In its 2040 Vision document, Somerset West and Taunton Council unveiled its strategy for developing sites along the river. As part of this strategy, rights of way along the riverside will need to be upgraded, with the town intending to also introduce new paths and cycleways to encourage more people to walk or cycle.

Although the newspaper noted that large sections of the riverside are already accessible to walkers and cyclists, the council’s plans will mean that both sides of the river bank are fully accessible and will increase the scale of the existing network.

Also in the 2040 Vision document are plans for a number of car parks in Taunton town centre to be developed.

Speaking during a Facebook Live council leader Federica Smith-Roberts said that the proposals aren’t about being “anti-motorist” but rather to get everyone to consider how they use their cars.

“People need to look at how they change their ways of moving around that takes out the car,” she stated.

In his budget announcement earlier in March, chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the government would be setting up a bank with the aim of investing in green infrastructure, Argus Media reported.

The aim is for this bank to support £40 billion of investment in these kinds of projects.

Looking for help with footpath surfacing in Yorkshire? Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help.

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One-Third Of UK Drivers Suffer Pothole Damage To Their Cars

One-Third Of UK Drivers Suffer Pothole Damage To Their Cars

30th Mar 2021

New research from Citroen has revealed that as many as 32 per cent of UK motorists have had their car damaged by potholes, with the average repair bill costing £141.95, and 11 per cent of drivers having to fork out over £251 for a pothole-related repair.

This is Money reports that Citroen surveyed 2,000 drivers, with almost a quarter of respondents stating that they had tried to claim back the repair cost of the pothole damage from their local council.

Pothole-related repairs cost local authorities a total of almost £6 million in compensation in 2019/20, latest data from The Asphalt Industry Alliance ALARM report shows.

According to the report from ALARM, a pothole is repaired every 21 seconds in England and Wales, but with local authorities facing a carriageway maintenance budget shortfall of around £826.6 million a year, 9 per cent of the UK’s road network is considered to be in poor condition and will need maintenance within the next 12 months.

Eurig Druce, Managing Director of Citroen UK, said: It is concerning to find that potholes have caused damage to nearly a third of driverscars across England and Wales. Local authorities have a lot of issues to solve and this will take time.”

The study also revealed that 42 per cent of drivers wish their car had better suspension to cope with the condition of the country’s roads.

In January, the RAC revealed it had attended almost 1,500 pothole-related breakdowns in the fourth quarter of 2020, which raised concerns as the figures were recorded during the lockdown and travel restrictions and they were similar to the numbers recorded during the same lockdown-free period in 2019.

RAC head of road policy Nicholas Lyes called on the government to put aside 2p from the existing 58p-per-litre duty on the sale of petrol and diesel, which he said: would generate nearly £5bn of additional funds for local roads over five years”.

 

If you’re looking for road surfacing contractors, talk to us today.

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Sangwin Features in "Design Insider"

Sangwin Features in "Design Insider"

23rd Mar 2021

An article featuring Sangwin Educational Furniture’s involvement in the successful Ponteland campus project can be viewed here:

https://www.designinsiderlive.com/ki-seating-bringing-comfort-and-practicality/

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Secret Medieval Tunnel Found Under Welsh Footpath

Secret Medieval Tunnel Found Under Welsh Footpath

19th Mar 2021

A tunnel believed to have been built in the middle ages was discovered under footpath surfacing after power technicians were installing a new powerline pole in Monmouthshire.

The tunnel was discovered by technicians working for Western Power Development (WPD) in the heart of Wye Valley, an Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty (AONB) near the border between Wales and England.

The team, lead by technician Allyn Gore, initially went to the village of Tintern to move a wooden pole off of a customer’s property. The pole needed to be moved to avoid blocking a footpath.

They initially used technical drawings and survey information and did not find anything unusual about their potential site, so they began excavating. Very quickly, however, they stopped the digging work because they found what the team initially believed to be a cave.

It wasn’t. It was a manmade tunnel that was 4ft tall that ran underneath the footpath following the brook’s route around the Wye Valley. What was amazing is that the tunnel had not been discovered in centuries despite its sheer scale.

It is not shown on any ordinance survey maps since the Valley started being mapped back in the 1700s, and no authority nor local person appeared to have any knowledge of the tunnel.

Given that Tintern Abbey dates back to the 1100s, it could be related to the beautiful medieval building, as well as potentially being linked to Wye Valley’s ironworks, ruins of which have been frequently found in the area.

Tintern Abbey was largely abandoned after 1541 with the Dissolution of the Monasteries by King Henry VIII after he made himself head of the Church of England. This essentially ended the era of huge monasteries that had lasted 400 years as it was seized by the king.

By 1568 the Wye Valley became a home of industrial works, with the Abbey itself even becoming a home for local ironworkers for a time, with small cottages being added to the Abbey’s site.

Eventually, with the rise of tourism in the 18th and 19th century, the Wye Valley became an area known for its staggering beauty and the Abbey itself a landmark reclaimed by nature as ivy grew on top of it.

In 1901 it was bought by the Crown and became a Grade I listed building in 2000.

After the WPD consulted with Cadw (the historic environment service of the Welsh Government) and talking to a representative of the group, all work was halted to avoid damaging or weakening the tunnel whilst the tunnel is investigated further by archaeologists.

Given the unique and fascinating history of the area, as well as all the discoveries found regarding the Abbey itself, there is the potential for some previously undiscovered historic find within the tunnels.

As for the repaired powerline, WPD has prepared an alternative route to wire and move the pole, to avoid disturbing the archaeological investigations set to take place under the footpath.

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