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Red carpet repairs rolled out for Tour de France

Rotherham MBC - Translinc - May Gurney (8)

With Yorkshire chosen to host the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France Dave Mazurke, Highways Group Manager at Bradford MDC, outlines his strategy to produce world-class repairs on a Bradford budget.

Since the announcement, a year before the Grand Depart was due to begin in July, Dave looked long-term to engage in a programme that would ensure lasting results up to the standards of competitor cyclists whilst ensuring residents could also enjoy the roads thereafter and eliminating any head ache’s for his team in terms of repeat visits.

DfT & HMEP endorsed 'fix first time' efficiency

The Highways team quickly identified that the best solution to solve the district’s pothole riddled roads lay in a prudent patching programme based around the DfT and MHEP ‘fix first time’ principle.

Assistance Manager, Iain Ibbotson, was tasked with project managing the coordination of works for a 6 month period in the different areas of the race: Addingham, Ilkley, Silsden, Keighley, Oxenhope and Haworth.

Iain has taken great pride in the Tour de France visiting the region, living in the Haworth area himself, so implementing a practical and equally efficient programme of works was pivotal in the planning process.

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As the Tour de France planned to make way through rural roads as well as main routes the Council required a compact and manoeuvrable machine that would minimise disruption to traffic whilst at the same time minimising transportation and traffic management costs throughout the course.

The Multihog, an innovative multi-purpose highway maintenance vehicle that can be utilised for a diverse range of maintenance tasks to add value and reduce overheads, was therefore selected as the enabler to guarantee efficient permanent repairs due to its unrivalled patch planing performance.

Proven best practice for reactive & planned repairs

With the Multihog method largely attributed by the Association for Public Service Excellence as part of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council’s ‘safety defect strategy’ which won the 2013 award for highways best service both Dave and Iain was confident the Multihog could deliver.

This was initially achieved by taking advantage of the company’s ‘hire a hog’ incentive which encourages councils to try the unit on a short-term basis with a view to realising the benefits first-hand and was made easier through the company’s award on the YPO hire framework.

Quick and cost effective winterisation

Whilst utilising the unit for road planing Dave was able to economically source extra attachments for the unit to cover winter clearance duties and safeguard against snow drifts, which the area experienced the year before, by hiring the heavy duty snow blower attachment over winter.

Although the 2013-14 winter weather was much milder than previous years, this simply enabled the team to continue their work on the routes of the Tour de France to complete the planing programme swiftly ahead of schedule and tackle a backlog of other defects to get ahead of the game.

More maintenance for less budget: 25% less potholes

This was recognised in the HMEP LEAN Toolkit in which Bradford was praised for reducing the number of potholes by 25% and in effect ‘doing more maintenance work for the same budget and the quality of roads has improved.’

Breaking conventional barriers for collaborative change

With Dave and Iain exemplifying the Highways Department’s forward-thinking attitude, his counterpart in Landscape Services has echoed this assertiveness by exploring extra applications for the Multihog cutting across conventional council budgetary boundaries to share the machine for grass cutting in addition to road repairs and winter maintenance to increasingly add to the Multihog’s cost-effectiveness with the potential to bring some services in-house at a reduced cost.

If you would like to know more about the ‘fix first time’ strategy of Bradford MDC and their application of the Multihog or are interesting in trial hiring the unit for your own operation just contact the Multihog team on 01254 703212. 

9th July 2014, 15:00
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