Richard Coy – Technical Manager at Chevron Traffic Management – gave an interesting and informative lecture on Thursday 9th Feb on temporary traffic management for highway works. The lecture described the principal steps from outline arrangements through detailed design and implementation and highlighted the areas that often cause problems at each stage.
The meeting was the latest in our – ICE Essex Branch – 2011/12 session of free evening lectures and drew a good crowd from both ICE members and interested others. Chevron Traffic Management are one of the largest specialist temporary traffic management contractors in the united kingdom and they are currently engaged by Balfour Beatty Skanska JV on the M25 J27 to J31 widening scheme in Essex which is nearing completion.
Richard admitted that whilst he runs internal training courses for TM supervisors and operatives, this was the first time he had been asked to do a talk for a learned society. He needn’t have been concerned though as Richard spoke confidently and clearly on a subject he clearly knew a considerable amount about.
Richard talked through aspects of the whole process of the design and implementation of temporary traffic management from early highway scheme designs through appointment, detailed TM scheme design through to production and review of drawings and installation and maintenance of the schemes on site. Along the way Richard highlighted the areas where currently things can go astray and suggested ways in which these problem areas could be dealt with.
A few points of note that I took away from the meeting:
- The move toward an emphasis on temporary traffic management to protect the workforce as much as to protect and smooth the passage of the travelling public – a very good thing
- The move toward reducing the requirement for operatives to be on and especially crossing the live highway to set up, maintain and remove tempoarary traffic management equipment
- The message that early involvement of the traffic management contractor in the planning and even design of highway projects
- The message that designers and contractors could and should be considering temporary traffic management more before projects go to site including stakeholder consultation and application for approvals / TRRO’s etc.
A lively Q&A session followed the lecture with a number of interesting subjects being raised including one from a passenger transport group representative querying about stakeholder liaison and who’s role it was to talk to such groups, and one from me on whether Chevron (and other TM companies) are getting involved with or contributing to 3D/4D modelling of TM in the wider context of a scheme model. The answer was not at the moment and partly because TM designs were generally schematic. I see it coming though.
After the meeting there was lots of talk and networking between attendees and speaker / committee members and we talked further on various issues. I asked Richard about the QMB (Quick Moveable Barrier) system much praised by the HA a few years ago. It seems it is still around but is only appropriate on quite specific types of scheme. He mentioned that a steel version of the barriers themselves is being considered as it is more robust and practical than the concrete version.
I also asked what I thought might be a silly question about flashing lights seen atop cones – and how they appear to work in unison to achieve a progressive flash along a line of cones particularly at a lane closure taper. It turn out not to be a silly question after all and seems that flashing lights are a bit more clever than they used to be and that they can ‘talk’ to their neighbours by IR (Infra red) – so as to flash in a coordinated manner. Richard noted this was one of the most important developments in TM in recent years.
All in all it was an excellent and very sucessful evening meeting and thanks must go again to Richard Coy of Chevron for coming and speaking, and to ICE Essex committee member Carol Chasteauneuf of Mouchel for organising it. Richard confirmed after the meeting that he would be happy to do the talk again for other groups.
Included below are a selection of photos from the event. Further photos can be found in an album on my photo sharing website here.