Competed industrial estate road

Five questions to ask your contractor before carrying out road and highway maintenance January 21st 2019, by Ian Lishman

What repair works can you undertake?

A reputable road maintenance contractor can take an holistic approach to projects, having the skill and experience to undertake all aspects of the work and understand how one element impacts on all of the other elements.

Typical repair and maintenance works include highway resurfacing; repairs, such as cracks, potholes or damaged kerbs; maintenance of verges and central reservations; managing safety features, such as road signs, lighting and barriers; drainage maintenance and repair; and rerouting services.

All of these works include the necessary traffic management and protection of road users and, where applicable, pedestrians.

 Can you contribute to project planning?

A road maintenance contractor does not have to be engaged only at the tender stage. During a project’s conception or specification, an experienced contractor can be a useful contributing voice, bringing their knowledge and ideas to help spot potential pitfalls before work even starts on site.

A contractor that works proactively with clients to help solve problems, especially ones that other contractors may wish to avoid, can be a valuable member of the project team.

How much disruption will there be?

Slowing or stopping traffic without causing disruption is impossible. The key is working with a contractor willing to collaborate and be flexible in finding ways to minimise the disruption. Offering a skilled workforce who understand working as a team to complete projects to plan is the first step.

Offering a workforce who understand that some road users will always feel inconvenienced by highway maintenance, and who will be professional should they find themselves interacting with the public, is the next.

Can you demonstrate compliance with relevant health and safety legislation?

No company will ever suggest that it doesn’t take health and safety seriously, but a contractor able to demonstrate a commitment to proper working practices is preferable to one that simply says they are committed. A number of schemes exist, demonstrating competence in different areas of site management and health and safety.

When engaging a road maintenance contractor, they should be able to show proof of Construction Skills Certification Scheme accreditation (CSCS, with the appropriate coloured cards for different levels of operatives); completed training courses under the New Roads and Street Works Act (NRSWA, again to the appropriate level for different operatives); and a Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) certificate.

Schemes and certificates such as these include a knowledge test, and must be renewed on a regular basis – typically three to five years.

 Will the repairs last?

Few road users are immune from the frustration of seeing roads, and particularly potholes, repaired only for the problem to rear its ugly head again within a matter of weeks. Potholes are rightly recognised as a blight on roads – a blight that is approaching epidemic proportions – and insurance claims for damage caused to cars and vehicles cost local authorities thousands of pounds.

While time and budget constraints may not stretch to fully resurfacing roads, it makes sense for repair works to not only be done as efficiently as possible, but thoroughly and to a high standard.

About FACE

FACE prides itself on the experience of its entire staff and the high levels of customer service they offer. ‘Quick fix’ repairs enhance nobody’s reputation, which is why FACE aim to give customers the peace of mind that roads and highways are in a good condition throughout the year – all backed up by a rigorous approach to health and safety that protects road users, pedestrians and their workforce.