A new network control centre has been launched today (1 November) to assist with the maintenance and improvement of the Highways Agency’s roads in Central Southern England.
The new centre incorporates the existing Hindhead tunnel control room and will be the hub of local operations of 778 miles of strategic carriageway in Hampshire, Berkshire and parts of Surrey, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire and Dorset. It will work closely alongside the Highways Agency’s regional control centre in Godstone.
The centre has been launched by EM Highway Services who today start a five-year contract to maintain the network in Central Southern England. The contract, a new asset support contract, is valued at up to £140m per year with incentives for innovation and efficiency.
Guy Berresford, Highways Agency contract and performance team leader, said:
“The new asset support contract will provide better value for money for the tax payer, with maintenance standards that are outcome-based rather than prescriptive. The contract also requires year-on-year discounts, encouraging innovation to further improve value for money.”
Scott Cooper, EM general manager for the area, added: “The movement of the network control centre to Hindhead, to form a combined control centre for the whole area, is just one of a number of initiatives we’ve undertaken in readiness for the start of this new contract.”.
The new contract will last for five years, with extensions possible until 2021.
The network includes:
* 10 depots across the region to deliver the maintenance and winter services
* The £371m Hindhead Tunnel
* 747 bridges/large culverts
* 569 miles of barriers
* A total length of lanes of 1,780 miles
The roads include the M4, connecting London and South Wales, and the M3 and A34, which provide an important freight route between Southampton and Portsmouth docks to the Midlands and the North. The A303 and A31 are the two main holiday routes into the South West.
The network includes some of the oldest and most heavily trafficked roads in the country and has a mixture of trunk roads that have developed over time and purpose built motorways.