National Highways’ A38 Fradley to Barton.

Project
This combined road maintenance project, brought together several contractors from National Highways’ Midlands Framework (NHMF), to deliver as many repairs as possible, while the road closures were in place.

This addressed a recurring customer theme about joining up roadworks planning.
But it presented challenges in coordinating multiple contractors and several local authorities.

The 18-month scheme required a consistent and wide-ranging engagement strategy, including a collaborative approach to Social Value delivery.

Strategy
The Principal Contractor, Carnell, tasked Sonar Engagement with researching a CWaNATM report (Community Wants and Needs Assessment) for the area, so it could be delivered collaboratively by the group of NHMF contractors.

The project’s long, linear nature presented challenges both in setting a geographic area, and in mapping the differing demographic / deprivation profiles along the route.

We identified communities with differing concerns and needs:
• Residents and businesses closest to the works.
• People living along the official and unofficial diversion routes.

Three key communities were identified through our CWaNA report and they received Social Value Benefits:

1: The National Memorial Arboretum
This extensive park, created in memory of our armed forces, was directly affected by inconvenience to their visitors, due to road closures.
To help them:
• Carnell rented space for the project’s offices and compound, providing a revenue stream.
• A group of NHMF administrative staff arranged two “away days” to paint the car park perimeter fence.
• The lining contractor addressed traffic flow issues, by painting box junctions and other road markings.
• The arboreal contractor provided some tree surgery services.

2: The Village of Kings Bromley
This village is bisected by an unofficial ‘rat-run’ that avoids delays around the main works.
To help the village community:
• We negotiated use of mobile speed and CCTV vans. Coordinating with the local Speed Watch, we followed up with Transport Managers and the police to alleviate this risk.
• A combined group of NHMF contractors helped maintain the Village Hall grounds throughout the summer.
• We created a sensory and wildlife garden for the village primary school.

3: The Village of Alrewas
This village was most closely affected by work throughout the duration of the scheme. 50 homes were caught within the construction site, requiring escort to and from their homes. The rest of the homes had a significant detour to access their village. The Royal British Legion Club were caught within the closure, but remained helpful in allowing use of their car park throughout the project.
To help them:
• We identified a need for digital skills, from the Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) 2019 data, and from Parish Council priorities. These were addressed by company IT specialists delivering IT security / ‘Silver Surfer’ sessions at the Royal British Legion Club
• The lining contractor refreshed space markings in the Royal British Legion Club car park.
• The plant hire contractor provided an aerial platform, to repair the flagpole at the Royal British Legion Club.
• Waste removal was provided for the village’s litter picking efforts.

Outcome
Carnell registered the project under the Considerate Constructors’ Scheme.
The assessor gave praise to the scheme under the Respect the Community heading, based on evidence provided by our CWaNA report.
The scheme was awarded 14/15 marks in that category.

Following the success of stakeholder engagement on the A38 Fradley to Barton project, National Highways entrusted Sonar Engagement to take on their remaining A38 schemes in Derbyshire and Staffordshire.

https://nationalhighways.co.uk/article/road-scheme-volunteers-brush-up-on-ways-to-support-the-community/

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