The 2021 Street Works UK Conference and Awards were sponsored by one.network, who would like to share the following piece
You can watch the one.network presentation to the Street Works UK Conference here
Transforming street works planning with technology
It’s an uncomfortable truth in our industry that the two ‘P’s of road works, Planning and Permitting, are uneasy allies. For utility companies working with road authorities, complex traffic management requirements and drawn-out resolutions can lead to delays and unpredictable costs.
Cadent is the UK’s largest gas distribution network, delivering to 11-million customers through 80,000 miles of pipes. Due to struggles with manpower, capacity and expertise, the company outsources street works planning and permitting to multiple suppliers. With a typical turnaround time of four weeks and numerous resource-draining touch points throughout, the whole process is inefficient and expensive.
But while Cadent’s scale may be unusual, the problem is common, with the potential to undermine a company’s business goals, regardless of its size.
Recently, Cadent began working toward a more efficient, in-house alternative, and working with street works pioneers Skewb, tested out a technology-based solution. It’s called Plan Share and it was developed by one.network, the nation’s largest work zone and event mapping software firm and a familiar name in utilities work zone management.
In early 2021 in Northampton, Cadent began a pilot using Plan Share to create and digitally submit traffic plans including Chapter-8 signage and documentation, from the singular one.network map. The desktop planning tool allowed team members to identify risks and potential conflicts and submit plans directly to authorities in seconds. Results dramatically improved the typical planning and approvals experience. Cadent and the team reduced delays, achieving almost eight-week savings in time, efficiency and money, bringing street works forward to August 18 from the original planned start date of October 27, 2021.
Rebecca Payne, Cadent’s Innovation Project Manager believes utilities are seeing the future. “Plan Share has revolutionised our communication with Northamptonshire County Council and will continue to improve and enhance our collaboration with highway authorities across our networks,” she said.
Since the success in Northamptonshire County Council, Cadent is utilising the one.network platform in other regions and the collaboration is getting attention. Matt Bright, one.network’s Business Development Manager for Utilities says interest in the platform is accelerating. “For years, the standard for planning and permitting success was measured by how little a company failed,” he said. “With its organisational efficiency, simplicity of use and standardisation of process, Plan Share completely rewrites that equation.”