Chris Sheppard has been named as general manager for A-one+ in Highways England Area 4 which covers Kent, Surrey, East and West Sussex.
The Area includes the busy M20 between London and the Port of Dover as well as connections to Gatwick Airport.
A-one+ won the five-year asset support contract in June along with Area 12 in Yorkshire and Humberside. The combined value of the two contracts is between £140 and £165 million over the five year deals which each have a potential three-year extension.
Sheppard (pictured) joins A-one+ from CH2M, one of the three joint venture partners of Costain, Colas and CH2M that make up the A-one+ operation.
He moves from his role as project director for CH2M’s HS2 work where he was involved in developing the rail route from London to Crewe and ran the firm’s successful bid to be HS2 delivery partner, won in the summer.
Sheppard has previously worked as commercial director for Thames Water dealing with the utility’s non regulated work with industry including companies such as Diageo and in particular the Guinness breweries.
He was project director for DLR operator Serco during the London Olympics before moving to CH2M in 2013.
“I enjoy managing teams of people, dealing with customers and the day to day surprises of operations and maintenance work so applied for the post as soon as I saw the advertisement,” Sheppard said.
“The roads sector was a big attraction because there is new realisation by government of the importance of well maintained highways to underpin economic development. Alongside that Highways England is a large, important client so will be interesting to work with.
“Roads have become so much busier and we, as a maintenance contractor, need to be innovative in finding ways of keeping the roads open and our workforce and the driving safe. In Area 4 we will be learning all the lessons from other A-one+ regions such as the major success on Area 14 with automated cold in situ recycling which has the potential to achieve outputs of 2,000t per shift.”
Sheppard has lived in Kent for 25 years so understands the importance of a free running strategic road network in Area 4 to residents and business. “It is an economic lifeline, taking people to the capital and goods to the ports,” he adds. “In the rest of the country people when they meet talk about the weather. In Kent, it’s the road network.”