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Balfour Beatty opens two new state-of-the-art control rooms

by Mark Cantrell
Balfour Beatty Living PLaces has opened two new state-of-the-art operational control hubs in Lincolnshire and East Sussex

Two state-of-the-art operational control hubs (OCH) have been opened in Lincolnshire and East Sussex to provide real-time monitoring of local road networks.

Balfour Beatty Living Places (BBLP) launched the control centres as part of its contracts with the respective county councils. The move represents further digital investment for the company, building on the success of earlier installations in Herefordshire and Southampton.

The control centres use innovative technologies and systems designed in-house by BBLP to provide a single source of visibility to monitor all activities in real-time, and drive efficiencies across the entire local road networks.

Each hub allows operational teams to prioritise work based on the location of vehicles and availability of crew members, capture when tasks are completed, and intervene where required to keep any outstanding activities on track.

By integrating live data from multiple systems, the hubs are said to enable teams to react swiftly to any issues on the network. The data helps to plot works in a digital, live environment, enabling the effective planning of reactive and emergency works as well as defect reporting.

Steve Helliwell, BBLP’s managing director, said: “Our continued investment in digital technologies, such as the implementation of our operational control hubs, demonstrates how we are actively seeking new, innovative ways of working to drive efficiencies and productivity across our business.

“Data is key in everything we do, and by providing our operational teams with real-time information, we are also able to drive sustainable outcomes for our customers and the local community, by prioritising work based on the location of available vehicles and in turn reducing the carbon emissions associated with travelling.”

The opening of BBLP’s operational control hubs builds on the success of its first facilities in Herefordshire and Southampton.

Cohesive overview

Since they launched in 2021, the OCH in Herefordshire has seen a 16% increase in productivity,the company says, with 61% of reported defects and issues being actioned and completed ahead of schedule.

In Southampton, meanwhile, the company says it has reduced the time it takes to complete tasks by 40% since August last year.

Councillor Richard Davies, Lincolnshire County Council’s executive member for highways, said: “It’s very positive to see the OCH system coming to Lincolnshire as I believe that there is a lot of potential for a more cohesive overview of works going on across our road network.

“I am fascinated to see how the overall improvement in the system, especially with efficiency and better reactive times, emerges in the coming months.”

Councillor Claire Dowling, lead member for transport and the environment at East Sussex County Council, said: “We are delighted Balfour Beatty Living Places has brought this innovative technology to East Sussex.

“The new operational control hub gives the team oversight across our entire road network enabling them to proactively respond to any issues and identify and resolve emergencies quickly, minimising disruption to the travelling public.”

Main image: The new operational control hub in Lincolnshire

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