Kier Highways has become the first UK contractor to introduce the RoadRake to the highways network – originally a device used in Australia to clean beaches now used to clear litter from the roads.
Over the last six months Kier has been trialling the technology to improve road worker safety and efficiency when removing litter and debris from the strategic road network (SRN) and the technology is now set to be rolled out across Kier’s other UK contracts.
The solution was used in Highways England’s in Area 9 and Kier said it has resulted in a ‘vast improvement in the time it takes to remove large pieces of debris as well as reducing the amount of time it takes to complete a routine litter pick’.
While a 4km could take two to three days to complete by hand with three people working on the live network over an average 10 hour shift, the RoadRake takes approximately two hours to complete the same task with the same number of people needed to operate it – giving a saving of roughly 70-man hours over the distance.
Dave Wright, executive director at Kier Highways said: ‘We’re constantly looking at ways to innovate and pioneer new products and technologies with a focus on improving efficiencies and safer ways of working. RoadRake is a great innovation that we’re proud to be the first to bring to the UK. It cuts the time it takes to carry out routine debris removal as well as reducing the need for our own workers to operate on a live carriageway therefore increasing safety.
‘The travelling public will also see the benefits of a network that can be cleared more regularly and incidents that can be responded to quicker and roads re-opened faster. Having extensively trialled the product, we are looking forward to expanding its use across our other UK contracts.’
Stuart Danks, West Midlands traffic operations manager said: ‘Both Highways England and Kier are keen to improve our operations on the network. This new piece of equipment will allow for improvements both for Highways England customers and safety of those working on the Highway England Network. I commend Kier for introducing this piece of equipment onto our Network.’