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Proposals and benefits for Derbyshire highways

With input from colleagues across the service, Derbyshire highways will change how we work, where we work and the way we do things. 


Our priority will be to enhance our in-house service to help us remain responsive to the needs and priorities of our members and local communities, using our knowledge and skills to create the best solutions for our network.

Proposals

The Derbyshire highways proposals aim to create two new service areas:

A commissioning service

The commissioning service will prioritise projects and improvements across our network by listening to the priorities of our Members, stakeholders and local communities.

A comprehensive annual work programme will be developed, prioritising projects in line with our technical assessments, to make sure investment is targeted at roads most in need of urgent repairs.

The service will work with local communities to make sure people feel more informed about the improvements we are making to the road network to increase residents’ satisfaction.

It will focus on improving how we operate to maximise our budgets, demonstrated by publishing an annual value for money assessment.

The service will include the following groups of staff:

  • commissioning management group
  • technical services groups
  • asset management group
  • communications and engagement group
  • network management group
  • emergency planning group

A delivery service

Our delivery service will bring together our existing network planning, construction and design teams to ensure a more co-ordinated approach to the way we work. This will help to:

  • work more efficiently and deliver value for money
  • make sure our highway network is maintained in line with our agreed policies and national standards, and is fit for purpose
  • provides the public with safe, reliable and convenient journeys

Additional support for our delivery service will be available by appointing a professional service partner. The partner will support our inhouse staff, sharing their knowledge and upskilling our colleagues to reduce the reliance on external agency staff and organisations, increasing the skills set and knowledge of our team.

We will set clear roles and responsibilities for each service area and expectations about working together to deliver the best services. There will be less confusion about who does what and greater accountability to make sure work is completed and delivered on time and to agreed budgets.

Due to the scale of investment, we will use external partners, where appropriate, to support us to deliver our services. This flexible approach will mean we are better placed to deliver our programmes on time and meet the expectations of our local communities.

The delivery service will include the following groups of staff:

  • HR, legal, finance, operations co-ordination and professional services
  • major schemes
  • traffic management and road safety
  • drainage and flood risk
  • carriageways, footways and rights of way
  • structures
  • network resilience
  • electrical assets and intelligent transport systems

Benefits

Our new approach will help to end the frustrations colleagues currently experience at work and help us deliver a better service for our community. For example, we know that the condition of our roads has deteriorated over a number of years, customer satisfaction levels have reduced and we have struggled to attract new colleagues to join us to help deliver an increased workload.

This has resulted in our team becoming overstretched and our need to bring in temporary staff to support us. Our new service will be designed to tackle these issues.

We will improve how we plan our works to give communities more targeted information about what schemes will be undertaken, where and when, helping to reduce frustrations and maximise the local road network.

We will also look at ways to attract new colleagues and partners to support us in working better to deliver more.

Working together across services will become business as usual, looking at ways to solve challenges as one team, rather than passing problems on to colleagues.

We will use new technology to help us work in a more modern way, more effectively plan and monitor our performance and budgets, equipping colleagues with the information they need to make the right decisions about investment and improvements.

Above all, we will develop a service that delivers value for money by reducing waste and inefficiencies and is financially affordable for local taxpayers.

Timescales

Initial timescales to deliver the Derbyshire highways proposals are:

  • April 2022 - Derbyshire highways design including the programme definition, planning, and mobilisation
  • April 2022 to March 2024 - deliver the new Derbyshire highways way of working including new structures, job roles and training
  • October 2024 to March 2025 - review of how the Derbyshire highways approach is working including impact, and outcomes

New interim service structure from September 2022

Our first steps to create the new Derbyshire Highways service have been taken with the introduction of our new interim service structure from September 2022.

The change follows the appointment of our new Assistant Directors for Commissioning, Neill Bennett and Delivery, Paul Traynor and will embed the new reporting lines to help streamline decision making and encourage closer and more effective working relationships across our teams as we deliver the new Derbyshire Highways.

As part of this transition process, the following reporting line changes will take effect:

  • Glynn Dutton, Head of Network Planning will continue to report to Julian Gould, Highways Director working closely with Neill Bennett, Assistant Director, Commissioning and Paul Traynor, Interim Assistant Director, Highways Delivery.
  • Chris Allwood, Head of Highways Construction, will report to Paul Traynor, Interim Assistant Director, Highways Delivery.

Liz Partington, Emergency Planning Manager and James Adams, Senior Project Engineer (Highways Hub), will report to Neill Bennett.