• Amey and WJ Group recognised by Highways England for their achievements in managing work-related road risk.
  • Amey reduce incidents by 38%, while WJ reduce incidents by 20% in 12 months. Both have also seen significant reductions in fuel use and emissions, as well as other key fleet management costs.
  • Highways England calls on public and private sector to follow their example.
  • New Business Champions announce major reductions in fuel use, emissions, costs and incidents.

At Highways UK in 2017, Highways England announced a new drive to ensure all its suppliers manage their work-related road risk to a demonstrably high level, in line with guidance given by their Driving for Better Business campaign. This included an ambition for existing suppliers to achieve ‘Business Champion’ status by 31 March 2019. For new suppliers we ask them to become champions within 18 months of the start of their contract.

Two contractors from the Highways England supply chain have now joined the growing band of ‘Business Champions’ – the first to do so since the announcement.

The two – infrastructure support service provider Amey, and leading road marking specialists WJ Group – were recognised for the work they had done to strengthen their safer driving cultures, resulting in significant reductions in collisions as well as reductions in fuel, emissions and running costs.

Amey – which has 11,000 drivers and 7,500 vehicles – had driven down at-fault incidents by an impressive 38 per cent over 12 months, while improving fleet utilisation by 30 per cent over 18 months. In addition, CO2 emissions were reduced and fuel efficiency improved.

Joe Docherty, Amey’s Head of HSEQ for Highways, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this recognition and to become the first of two new Highways England Business Champions. After registering with their Driving for Better Business campaign and focusing on the areas we had identified for improvement we saw changes for the better from the outset. The engagement from our drivers and local management has been fantastic, not least thanks to our network of strong fleet managers who support our operational teams on a daily basis to continually make improvements.”

Mark Byard, Health Safety and Wellbeing Director at Highways England presents the Driving for Better Business Champion certificate, signed by Chief Executive Jim O’Sullivan, to Joe Docherty, Head of HSEQ and Rob Allen, Business Director, from Amey.

Mark Byard, Health Safety and Wellbeing Director at Highways England presents the Driving for Better Business Champion certificate, signed by Chief Executive Jim O’Sullivan, to the team from WJ Group who put their company’s case study together including Paul Aldridge (Group Sustainability Director) Georgia Cope (Group Commercial Assistant), Alan Brookes (Group Training Academy Manager) Scott Logan (Group Transport Manager) and Craig Williams (Health and Safety Director)

WJ Group, which has 423 employees and a fleet of 332 vehicles, drove incidents down by 20 per cent over 12 months. Over 24 months, traffic offences tumbled by 59% while congestion and LEZ fines came down by 76 per cent. WJ also demonstrated an ability to improve fuel economy by 11% by promoting safe and fuel-efficient driving through their own celebrated Driver Training Academy.

Paul Aldridge, WJ Group’s Sustainability Director, said: “Becoming a Business Champion is very important to us, but this is what everyone should be doing. We have an ethical and moral imperative to make the roads safer; everyone knows of someone who did not make it home, while driving at work. Too often, people are shy of investing in health and safety but our record shows it is possible to make a success of doing exactly this.”

Handing out the certificates on behalf of Highways England Chief Executive, Jim O’Sullivan, was Stuart Lovatt, Highways England Strategic Road Safety Lead and Mark Byard, Highways England’s new Health Safety and Wellbeing Director.

Stuart praised the firms’ strong commitment to Highways England’s ‘Driving for Better Business’ campaign and urged all other government contractors to follow their lead as soon as possible.

“Everyone involved in driving for work, both in the private and public sector, needs to stand up and make a difference – and let others see that they are making a difference,” Mr Lovatt told delegates to the recent ‘Safer Highways Summit’, which took place in Birmingham.

“I would like to congratulate Amey and WJ Group, part of the Highways England supply chain, for their hard work in becoming our latest Driving for Better Business Champions. It is so important that all employers do this for the safety, not just of their own staff, but all other road users too.”

Stuart Lovatt, Strategic Road Safety Lead at Highways England, addressing many of the leading contractors in the Highways England supply chain at this year’s Safer Highways Summit.

Highways England Chief Highways Engineer Mile Wilson

Mike Wilson, Chief Highways Engineer having completed the Driving for Better Business Commitment on behalf of Highways England.

Added Stuart: “There is no excuse for any company or business that is taking taxpayers’ money, and working for Highways England, not to be able to demonstrate that they too are following the laws of the land, and that they are fully compliant with current legislation. We want more companies following the example set by Amey and WJ Group.”

Delegates also heard that both firms would now be working to ensure their own supply chains became fully engaged with the Driving for Better Business seven-step programme.

Copies of both the Amey and WJ Group driver safety policies are available to view on the Driving for Better Business website for those registered with the campaign at www.drivingforbetterbusiness.com

This year, at Highways UK 2018, Highways England will be presenting two sessions on achieving compliance with Health and Safety Legislation and Driving for Better Business Champion status.

Stuart added “We would like all our contractors to engage with the Driving for Better Business campaign and strongly recommend each attends one of these sessions to learn more on how they can support this vital safety initiative.