Why the need for Roadworks Coordination?
Lots of road works are carried out around us every day. You will be familiar with the disruption that they cause. The nature of these road works could include:
- Installation/repair of services e.g. Water, drainage, fibre optic cables, electricity cables, phone lines, etc.
- Pot hole repairs
- Road resurfacing
- New road layouts,
- Street lighting
- + more
All of these will be frequently required on any given road. This is a major problem for those controlling these works – it becomes a balancing act to get all of the required works completed with minimum disruption. Different elements are also required when undertaking road works.
For example, a job may require teams to:
- install a traffic management system,
- excavate the road and complete the work, and
- to lay the new road surface.
If the works were not coordinated separate jobs could be undertaken on a single stretch of road in a short space of time. It’s not hard to imagine many (justified) complaints from local residents and frequent users of that road.
Add up thousands of small disruptions every day. Time wasted, extra fuel used – the total economic cost to the UK runs into £ billions every year.
Benefits of Coordination
- Greater efficiency of transport system,
- More effective use of resources,
- Less disruption to the public, happier taxpayers!
- A more efficient and wealthy UK.
UK Roadworks management
The UK fortunately has a process for this. Nominated Bodies (usually Local Authorities) have a statutory obligation to coordinate all road works (Trunks roads are the responsibility of the Highways Agencies). There is also a UK Standard for communication of roadworks called EToN (Electronic Transmission of Notifications)
All jobs require forward planning or a notice period (with the exception of emergency works). This allows for multiple works to be carried out at the same time and all of the required resources to be assembled for the jobs at the time in which they are required. This should mean that a minimum amount of disruption is caused whilst using the available resources efficiently and effectively.
Systems solution within the EToN standard
When developing IT applications that will aid the users to coordinate these works we need to allow for some of these:
- Statutory requirements
- Valid timeframes
- Alternative options if outside of timeframes
- Validation of data
- Clear indication of current status
Example – Notice Timings Required
When submitting a ‘Major’ notice via the EToN system there are several avenues that can be pursued and these are determined by the time in which the notice is being submitted. If the job is expected to commence in more than three months’ time then a ‘Forward planning’ is to be submitted, but should the timeframe be less than this then the job must be either rescheduled to fit within the requirements or an ‘Early Start’ request is submitted.
Our wildcard is ‘Emergency’ work. There are exceptions. An ‘Emergency’ can be submitted on the day in which the work starts. Some are valid like a dangerous pothole. Sometimes an excuse to slot a job in.
The given data must be analysed and validated to determine the best course of action for the given time and the timeframe of the job. Our aim is to simplify this process and provide the user with an efficient system to coordinate these works.
Roadworks coordination is highly beneficial to both users and the broader economy. The UK has developed processes for managing coordination.
A good coordination system seeks to provide all the information required, presented within a framework consistent with EToN.
We at Springboard IT have developed and continue to develop solutions that will aid the user in coordinating road works, with seamless integration into existing systems. Springboard IT have expertise in roadworks coordination and sophisticated integration into existing systems. Read about a typical application we developed.