Everyone benefits from adopting a full-system approach to street ironworks
In a recent report from utilities trade association, Streetworks UK, it was revealed that over 350,000 lane rental permits for utility -related streetworks were applied for in 2018. With some permits costing over £2000 per day and attracting the ire of road users who are diverted or delayed, the industry needs to find a way to reduce the frequency and need for remedial works as our Marketing Manager, Paul Thompson, explains.
The lane rental schemes are designed to give utilities contractors a financial incentive to complete works in a timely fashion by charging a fixed fee per day until the works are complete. In February 2018, the Department for Transport unveiled plans to roll-out the lane rental schemes to councils across the country following trial periods in Kent and London; however, many organisations in the utilities sector have expressed concerns about the permits, which can cost up to £2500 per day in some areas, arguing that their use could potentially inflate the cost of streetworks by a large amount.
One way that the industry could reduce the impact of these costs is through the adoption of holistic, full-system approaches to ironworks that reduce or remove the need for maintenance or replacement activities. This type of approach, which considers everything from the product selected to the environmental factors present during installation, is key to maximizing the performance and longevity of the asset.
As with most things, prevention is better than cure, and by eliminating poor installations through the use of well-planned, performance-based specifications, asset owners can massively reduce their whole life costs and unnecessary expenditure on things such as lane rental permits.
However, it isn’t just the responsibility of the contractors and specifiers to help reduce these costs. Manufacturers also need to take the lead on developing solutions and methods that make it easier to install products right first time, thus benefitting the entire industry. Saint-Gobain PAM UK is just one of the manufacturers attempting to do this by offering a simple and effective installation solution, Install Plus, and by offering best practice incentives such as the new extended warranty options.
The new warranties are designed to push the industry to adopt better standards by offering extended periods of coverage if the installation is completed in accordance with Saint-Gobain PAM UK’s technical guidance and best practice methodology.
As more and more focus is being placed on thinking about the long term and reducing whole life costs, full-system approaches will become increasingly popular. Taking this type of approach benefits everyone, reducing the impact on road users and businesses and lowering costs for councils and asset owners alike.
For more information on our range of access covers and gratings, please visit https://www.saint-gobain-pam.co.uk/catalog/our-solutions/access-covers-gratings