4th Generation Term Contract for the Management and Maintenance of the Scottish Trunk Road Network North East Unit

CEEQUAL 77.5% – Whole Team Award
Version 5, January 2019 | Perth, Scotland

Client: Transport Scotland 
Designer: BEAR Scotland Ltd
Contractor: BEAR Scotland Ltd

Assessors: Craig Thom (BEAR Scotland LTD), Sinéad Thom (Transport Scotland)

Project/Contract Summary

North East Unit Map

The trunk road network which connects Scotland’s cities, towns, airports and ports is overseen by Transport Scotland. BEAR Scotland have maintained the Trunk Road network in the North East Unit since 2001 and were awarded the 4G contract in 2014. With a total length of 594 km, the North East Unit extends from Halbeath in Fife up to Fraserburgh and across to Inverness.

Transport Scotland as an Executive Agency help the Scottish Government meet the objectives they set for a more sustainable future. This includes encouraging the Trunk Road Operating companies to make sure they work as closely as possible with the communities they serve, maximising community benefits, and encouraging innovation. This environment is fostered through the requirements set out in the 4th generation contract but also and perhaps more importantly through active partnership between the wider team, client and contractor. Through this close working relationship, BEAR Scotland and Transport Scotland can deliver the service that the communities of the north of Scotland expect. This partnership helps to deliver better value for money and supports the trunk road networks ability to adapt to future challenges.

This 4th Generation term contract has been built on good practice across the industry and has evolved and been refined during the previous generations of the contract. In 2016 BEAR Scotland committed to commence the CEEQUAL process, pursuing a Whole Team award in conjunction with Transport Scotland. Services being provided by BEAR Scotland under the term contract include road and bridge maintenance, minor improvements, incident management and support, lighting the network and minimising the risk of landslides.

The following work types were considered in detail during the 2017/18 CEEQUAL assessment in the North East Unit:
• Roads Planned Maintenance
• Drainage Maintenance
• Road lighting

The following sections outline examples of best practice with regards to sustainability identified during the initial verification assessment period.

Contract Management

Schedule 5 Part 8 and the 4G procurement strategy and project execution plan identified from the outset that the sustainable road maintenance, carbon emission reduction and environmental protection were the key aims of the 4G contracts based on the Scottish Governments targets. Schedule 5 Part 8 of the contract outlines the sustainable development-based contract strategy. BEAR Scotland comply with this and are subjected to regular audits to check compliance. In addition to this the 4G North East Trunk Road Network is subject to a number of environmental management system audits from the Performance Audit Group who are employed by Transport Scotland as well as LRQA, an external certification body. A good level of performance was achieved in all North East audits with continuous improvement being demonstrated in the audit reports and BEAR Scotland maintaining certification to the ISO 14001 standard.

Relations with the Local Community

BEAR Scotland is keen to support local communities and promote community benefits that support Transport Scotland in delivering the objectives stated in the Scottish Government’s Scotland’s Transport Future and the UK Government’s Get Britain Working Policies. Throughout the initial verification assessment period BEAR Scotland carried out a number of community initiatives and engagement projects with schools, colleges and universities as well as developing young people within the Unit in accordance with the Scottish Government’s Creating Opportunities Together document.

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Examples of this work include fundraising events for charities including Cash for Kids, ARC – Antenatal Results and Choices, Macmillan Cancer Support and Movember, mentoring school pupils in the Go4SET challenge, a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subject challenge and providing volunteers to support local community groups in maintaining local footpaths.

Drainage Maintenance

A90 Longhaven Drainage Refurbishment

Water Vole

During the assessment period drainage refurbishment works were undertaken on the A90 at Longhaven where a population of water voles were residing. An Animal Licence (Licence Number: 105483) was granted under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended): Section 16 (3) (f).

 

 

Vegetation Cut Back

Prior to the works commencing pollution prevention measures were implemented including the installation of straw bales at the downstream culvert to prevent silt in runoff migrating downstream of works. Oil spill clean-up equipment for use in the event of an oil spill or leak was also available onsite. To ensure minimal disturbance within the Drain channel, herbaceous cut-back of vegetation was undertaken from the bankside with a tractor with a mountable long-arm upright strimmer and spin strimmer. This also ensured that burrows were not damaged or destroyed.

Cut-back of vegetation proceeded, working from the centre of the Drain outwards, allowing any water voles (and any other species) time to move away. A herbaceous vegetation fringe of 0.2 metres was retained to ensure that a degree of cover and habitat was maintained, thus alleviating concerns relating to potential water vole predation. Green waste resulting from vegetation cut-back was hand raked and left a safe distance from the bankside for a few days to allow any organisms to move back into the Drain. Green waste was removed from the site.

Marker cones outlining burrows

To ensure no loss of water vole burrows, an exclusion buffer zone (5 metre radius) was established around each burrow, using blue-tipped/flagged canes. These remained in place for the duration of the works and the Ecological Clerk of Works maintained a watching brief to ensure that no plant and/or work personnel entered the buffer zone.

50 mm internal diameter plastic pipes were placed carefully inside burrow entrances to reinforce burrow entrances prior to silt removal. Once pipes had been carefully placed in burrow entrance, the Ecological Clerk of Works temporarily ‘plugged’ the pipe to ensure water voles did not escape into path of excavator whilst silt was being removed from channel of Drain. Agreement reached with Scottish Natural Heritage that ‘plug’ would be in place no longer than 30 minutes.

Laying of drainage pipe

To ensure minimal disturbance within the drain channel, silt was removed utilising a mini-excavator, positioned on the A90 north-bound verge. A depth of 0.5 metres of silt was removed along the drain channel where no burrows were located. No silt was removed 0.25 metres either side of a location where a burrow was located. Silt in areas of burrows was not re-profiled along the channel length to ensure the channel bed had a consistent profile. This ensured that the drain and channel slope and cross-section were not altered, the stability of the banks were not undermined, the flow pattern was not modified and the likelihood of flood risk either upstream or downstream was not increased. This also ensured that there was minimal impact on the water vole population.

View of completed works

 

A water vole survey was undertaken by the Ecological Clerk of Works approximately 1 month after works were completed.

 

 

 

 

A95 Mid Curr Drainage Works

Downstream defender

During the reporting period works were undertaken to improve drainage on the A95 at Mid Curr. The drainage conveys and treats a mixture of field and road runoff with the discharge point lying 5 miles North of the River Spey Special Area of Conservation (SAC Site Code 8365). The area is also situated within the Cairngorms National Park.

Given the protected and sensitive nature of the River Spey SAC, the new drainage system is compliant with the SuDS Manual, CIRIA C753. This comprised 250 metres of new filter drain and refurbishment of 290 metres of existing filter drain and installation of 580 metres of new 0.45 m diameter twin walled plastic carrier drain and installation of six new Type 7 catch pit chambers and construction of one small Type 2 precast headwall.

Downstream defender in situ

A Downstream Defender (an advanced hydrodynamic separator) was installed. Independent tests show that at design flow Downstream Defender will remove more than 80% Total Suspended Solids, 66% hydrocarbons, 9% total Phosphorus, 27% total Nitrogen and 52% Heavy Metals. Installation of the filter drains and Downstream Defender therefore ensured storm water quality exceeds current discharge standards.

Restoration earthworks integrated visually with the existing terrain by ensuring naturalistic grading which reflected the natural landform and promoted integration with existing character.

Simon Moos – Gully Waste Dewatering Plant

Overview of the Simon Moos Process

BEAR Scotland have continued to utilise the Simon Moos dewatering plant throughout the assessment period. The plant operates between four sites across the business (Corpach and Kingussie, Cunmont and Stirlinghill). The treatment process involves the use of polymer to cause flocculation of the contaminants present in the gully waste, leaving behind dewatered sludge alongside clean water which can be used again in the gully tankers, as well as vehicle washing. In addition to this the system also allows for a reduction in transport related carbon emissions as the gully tankers have less distance to travel back to the strategically positioned depots.

Road Lighting

2017-18 North East LED Upgrades
Route Number of LED’s Installed
A90 591
A92 2
A95 81
A96 156
A972 14
Total 844

LED refurbishment works have continued across the North East Trunk Road network with 844 LED lanterns being installed in place of standard lanterns on 5 routes across the network during the reporting period. Numbers installed in each route are detailed in the table below.

LED lanterns have a number of benefits including:

  • Reduced energy consumption with an energy saving potential of 40% compared to high pressure sodium lanterns;
  • A long and predictable lifetime, reducing maintenance requirements;
  • They do not contain harmful substances such as mercury; and
  • Improved light levels which improves safety and enhances use ability for vulnerable members of the community.

A whole life costing exercise was undertaken in advance of the LED refurbishment program which compared the use of high-pressure sodium lanterns against LED’s which justifies the cost and energy savings.

Opportunities for Renewable/Low Carbon/Zero-Carbon Energy

Solar Powered Road Bollard

Throughout the assessment period solar powered street lighting furniture continued to be installed on the network. This technology was brought to attention at lighting professionals’ seminars and allows the use of renewable energy to power street lighting furniture on the network.

 

 

 

Solar Powered Road Bollard

 

The technology uses solar power to trickle charge units powering 12-volt batteries to illuminate internal LED’s thus eliminating the requirement for mains power. The use of LED’s in this technology produces savings on maintenance and bulk lamp change. This technology is approved by the Department of Transport and can therefore be used on the Trunk Road Network.

 

 

Roads Planned Maintenance

Environmental/Sustainability Assessment Scoring Matrix

Environmental-Sustainability Assessment Scoring Matrix

The Transport Scotland’s annual process for roads structural maintenance includes an environmental/sustainability assessment scoring matrix which is used in the Roads Structural Maintenance value for money programming process.  This ensures that key environmental and social criteria are considered during this process and factored into the programming of schemes each year.

M90 Maintenance Works

Crack and Seat Guillotine Breaker

The phased roads structural maintenance schemes on the M90 continued during the reporting period. A reduced treatment strategy was selected rather than complete reconstruction. This reduced costs which allowed more work to be undertaken. The chosen treatment method involves the use of crack and seat. Crack and Seat is a technique where an existing concrete slab is cracked at controlled centres to create discrete mini slabs. These slabs are then rolled with a 10 or 20 tonne pneumatic tyred roller to seat them into the existing granular base. This creates a sound foundation for a flexible overlay preventing reflective cracking of the new surface. By Cracking & Seating the existing concrete bound mixture the requirement to remove the full depth of the pavement was avoided, thereby reducing the quantity of virgin material used in the operation. This also has the additional benefit of reducing transport associated emissions with less material being transported to site.

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The use of this treatment method allows the work to be undertaken over a relatively short space of time in comparison to other treatment methods, therefore reducing the time spent on site and associated social disruption. The new pavement surface has a smoother running surface compared to the previous concrete surface which reduces the noise generated by vehicles using the road, reducing disruption to the local residents.

TS2010 (SMA Mix)

TS2010 (Stone Mastic Asphalt Mix) was the main material used in roads planned maintenance schemes undertaken during the Assessment Period. TS2010 has the following benefits:

  • Superior durability;
  • Lower noise levels;
  • Good skid resistance;
  • Decreased lifetime costs;
  • Thin layer application;
  • Excellent ride quality;
  • Reduced use of expensive imported aggregates;
  • Increased use of a wider range of sustainable aggregate sources.

Utilising this material allows the mitigation of noise impacts on residential receptors during the operation of the road.

Network Wide Biodiversity Enhancements

Directional grass cutting to encourage wildlife to move to areas that are not subject to impact from grass cutting operations have been undertaken across the network throughout the reporting period. In addition to this, the use of log pile installations at various locations has also been used to create wildlife habitat areas across the network.

Directional Grass Cutting

Works to contain the spread of invasive species including Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed across the network have also continued throughout the reporting period.

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Future Improvement Opportunities

The main future improvement opportunity being implemented is the development of a system to ensure that on-site environmental mitigation is successful and fully implemented and recorded.  The Environmental Team have produced a checklist which can be used by construction teams to ensure that the site-specific mitigation measures outlined in the Site Environmental Management Plan are established and are effective for the duration of the works.  The developed procedure will ensure clarity with regards to the process, and the mechanism will be fully integrated into the business management system.

Most of BEAR Scotland’s work is to maintain the existing Trunk Road Network.  As a result of undertaking the CEEQUAL Initial Verification process the intention is to improve the design process to allow the consideration and implementation of environmental enhancements within projects.  Such improvements could involve enriching local habitats or improving the landscape within high amenity-value areas. This would involve working with Transport Scotland, including the assessment of the local environment and research of potential enhancements by the Environmental Team, agreement of feasibility with designers once site-specific parameters have been identified and incorporation into the final designs.

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