Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing marks Platinum Jubilee of its namesake Queen Elizabeth II

On behalf of Connect Plus and National Highways, we are proud to have celebrated a moment in history as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth marked her Platinum Jubilee over the weekend.

In honour of the event, the Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing bridge named ‘Queen Elizabeth II Bridge’ from the opening by her Majesty in October 1991, beamed UK colours of red, white and blue.

The incredible lights were seen from Wednesday and continued throughout the entire Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend.

In October 1991 when the bridge proudly received its name, there was no estimating the impact it would have on keeping the country moving. It plays a crucial role in delivering essential goods, whilst also connecting many friends and families.

Taking three years to build and measuring over 2,872 meters it was only last year we celebrated its 30th anniversary. At that time, we spoke to Steve Pattrick (CPS Strategic Structures Asset Manager) who was part of the design and construction team.

Steve said:

 

‘My first memory of working on-site was of me climbing up to the top of the scaffold on one of the piers, which is about 45 meters high now. I still remember the feeling of the scaffold under my feet as I steeped over a gap onto the slip formed pier with the great view that kind of height provides.

The construction programme was relentless, meaning we worked six days a week for ten to twelve hours a day. We ultimately completed the construction of the bridge in an impressive three years.

The bridge opened officially on 30th October 1991. I remember being there lifting the cones with the site general manager on the very first night live traffic went across the bridge. I was also pleased to attend the official opening ceremony attended by Her Majesty the Queen.’

As we celebrated the Jubilee weekend, we are delighted that the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge shared in the events, marking a momentous occasion of Her Majesty whom gave it its name.

David Neal, CPS Managing Director said:

‘Connect Plus Services, on behalf of Connect Plus and National Highways, are delighted to be celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this weekend by lighting the iconic QEII bridge. Recently celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing named ‘Queen Elizabeth II Bridge’ is a critical asset of the M25 network connecting family, friends and businesses. To make this a reality, we have worked with local business Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), using Color Kinetics to light to pylons the iconic red, white and blue.’

Stephen Rouatt, CEO Signify UK&I, said:

'Light is one of the most powerful means of breathing new life into cities and towns, heralding a new era of urban design and beautification. We have lit bridges around the world and seen first-hand the positive impact that dynamic architectural lighting has on transforming local communities and economies. With over 150,000 vehicles crossing every day, the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge is iconic and will add to the celebrations of the Platinum Jubilee with opulence.  

To achieve the unique vision requested from Connect Plus Services, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting) has provided the Color Kinetics lighting systems to illuminate the crossing. Color Kinetics has been trusted to light iconic structures like the Empire State Building, the London Eye, and more recently the Illuminated Rivers along the River Thames. For this occasion, it is special to all citizens of the UK, and we are excited to be part of such a prestigious project and add to the celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebration.'

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

East Surrey College Careers and Jobs Fair 2022 

On Monday 23rd June, two of our Connect Plus Services team, Alex Leadon (Digital Delivery Graduate) and Florika Arora (Senior HR Advisor), attended East Surrey College to be part of their Careers and Jobs Fair 2022.  

At the event were a wide range of employers, charities and universities providing a wealth information and sharing their experiences to the college’s students and members of the public.  

Alex and Florika were able to discuss the Highways industry, share their own personal experiences and talk about our CPS business, including the work we’re carrying out on local schemes.  

They also directed those interested on the various routes into the roles available and took many questions that were asked, which demonstrated great interest in the field. 

Many of those who attended were encouraged to bring along their CVs and were given time slots which meant for an organised and helpful event. 

Alex said:

I really enjoyed attending the careers fair representing CPS and speaking to students, teachers and parents, explaining about what we do and what we can offer them.  It also helped that the event was very well organised and that the students that I spoke to were engaged and genuinely interested in what we were saying.  If the opportunity came about to attend a similar event, then there would be no doubt that I would do it again.’

Our commitment to sharing opportunities in the industry with young people and supporting their learning forms a large part of our focus on social value, with more information available here.

Furthermore, working with local schools forms part of CPS’ Adopt a School initiative. This initiative focuses on engaging with children to promote the industry as a future career choice, raise awareness of CPS road activities and campaigns, and to utilise the skills of the business to build improvements to school facilities. 

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

CPS & Octavius discuss careers in the industry at local school’s fair

A large contribution to Connect Plus Services’ (CPS) commitment to social value is a focus on sharing opportunities available in the industry to young people and supporting their learning.

As part of this commitment, Senior Project Manager at CPS, Nitin Patel, attended Kings Langley Secondary School to take part in their recent careers fair.

Nitin was also joined by three members of the  Octaviuswho form part of our Gade Valley scheme. Owing to the school’s proximity to our ongoing works to strengthen the viaduct, many of the students were particularly keen to understand more about the project and to learn about the jobs roles involved.

The event was targeted to engage with year 10 and 11 pupils, with each year being given structured time to browse the fair and talk to employers. This allowed the students plenty of time to learn about the different types of roles available and what it is like to work within the industry.

The team also discussed apprenticeship and graduate opportunities, as well as sharing their own experiences and answering any questions the student’s had.

Nitin said:

 

‘It was great to engage with Year 10 and 11 students at the fair and highlight the opportunities available to them within Highways and Construction. A lot of the pupils were aware of the Gade Valley Viaduct project as it is nearby the school, and it was good to be able to explain the benefits of the project. We hope that our involvement in the fair will help them decide which subjects to study in further education or encourage them to explore a path into the industry through apprenticeships.’

Mrs Jan Wright, Information, Advice & Guidance Co-ordinator at King’s Langley School, said:

'A sincere thank you for attending our recent Careers Fair, your time and commitment were very much appreciated.

We very much value the time and support that our local businesses, organisations and other educational establishments provide and without them we would not be able to offer our young people the essential and meaningful encounters that they need to enable them to learn and gather information about the opportunities available to them and the options to be explored, regardless of the route they are going to be taking.

Students were also able to see what the 'world of work' may offer them and to talk to the professionals directly which will hopefully go some way towards many of them knowing what they have to achieve in order to pursue their chosen career pathway.'

Working with local schools particularly forms part of the company’s Adopt a School initiative. This initiative focuses on engaging with children to promote the industry as a future career choice, raise awareness of CPS road activities and campaigns, and to utilise the skills of the business to build improvements to school facilities.

This initiative is at the heart of the CPS corporate responsibility programme. Read more about it here.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

M25 teams achieve great success for the Great British Spring Clean

Connect Plus Services (CPS), in collaboration with National Highways, One Community and local authorities, has achieved huge success as part of the Great British Spring Clean campaign 2022.

The Keep Britain Tidy campaign, which launched on Friday 25th March, concluded yesterday, Sunday 10th April, is in its seventh year and is the nation’s biggest mass-action environmental campaign. Although the campaign is over, our fight on litter continues.

It is a particularly relevant campaign to our teams across the M25 network as litter is growing issue, with more than 30,000 bags collected every year. That’s over 2.7 litres of litter, enough to overflow an Olympic sized swimming pool.

Throughout the campaign all were encouraged to make a difference to their communities by litter picking, taking steps to make a difference to protect the environment.

CPS organised litter pick events at three of our depots; Dartford, Leatherhead and South Mimms, which achieved a massive turnout. Together, the teams taking part collected over 80 bags of litter around the local communities in just 5hrs, which will be added to the campaign’s #BigBagChallenge.

 

Outside of these events, many of the team have been doing their own litter picking which will go towards the total too.

As well as this physical action, CPS and National Highways collaboratively continued to educate the public on the impact of litter and to particularly highlight the risks that litter picking can pose to the safety of our workforce while out on the network to collect it.

Throughout the campaign, gantry signs across the network were also used to provide proactive messaging to the public to take their litter home.

This supported out overall message,  please don’t put our workers at risk - take your litter home.

CPS have also taken the opportunity to recognise our teams who work every day to ensure the network is safe and serviceable, including the removal of litter.

Discussing the campaign, Emily Catt, CPS Environmental GIS Specialist said:

 

'Litter is a huge and ongoing issue on our roads. We have colleagues who put themselves at great danger by picking up discarded rubbish along the live carriageway.

The Great British Spring Clean was a great chance for all our teams to get involved by taking a couple of hours out of our busy working days to carry out some litter picking. It was fantastic to see so many joining in, making a great difference in the communities around our depots and collecting over 80 bags of litter!

It highlighted to all of us just how much litter is thrown out. The main culprits being food and drink packaging which takes hundreds, if not thousands of years to decompose. That small piece of rubbish equates to such a big problem.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

M25 team join Great British Spring Clean and urge drivers to take litter home

Litter is a huge national issue and one that’s of growing concern on the M25. Its impact is felt throughout our work on the network and also in our customer raised queries.

Every year, more than 30,000 bags of litter are collected by our teams on the M25, that’s 2.7 million litres... more than an Olympic size swimming pool full. This litter is generated, for most part, by drivers who throw discarded items from their windows during their journeys.

This action not only damages our environment and endangers our local wildlife but puts our workers at serious risk when collecting it.

In addition litter also means that valuable time and money is often diverted away from improvements on the network.

Launching on Friday 25th March, The Great British Spring Clean is the nation’s biggest mass-action environmental campaign. The campaign by Keep Britain Tidy encourages the public to make a difference in their communities by either hosting or participating in a litter pick activity.

As part of this campaign, CPS, in partnership with National Highways and local authorities, will be helping to educate the public and highlight the risks litter picking can pose to the safety of our workforce.

Our teams will also be going above their normal activities to pledge support to the campaign’s ‘Big Bag Challenge’. To collect as many bags as possible, we have organised numerous litter picking events around our depots and in our local communities.

Whilst we pledge our support to the campaign, our message to every road user is please don’t put our workers at risk - take your litter home.

Andy Whitmill, CPS Service Delivery Director, said:

 

The Great British Spring Clean is a vital campaign that we strongly support. The presence of litter on our network not only negatively impacts the experience of our customers as road-users but, most importantly, puts our colleagues at increased and unnecessary risk when collecting it.

The Great British Spring Clean is a great opportunity for us to demonstrate, together, our passion for Sustainability, Safety and Network Stewardship. We are also working in partnership with National Highways to help educate the road user on the impact of littering on the network.’

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Connect Plus Services supports local charity to reopen for summer

As part of our commitment to social value and using two company volunteering days encouraged to staff, a team made up of volunteers from CPS Business Strategy and Leatherhead Service Delivery teams chose to support a local charity helping young people.

Based at The Old Pheasantry, Tadworth, and run by The Land & City Families Trust, the wonderful cause provides accommodation for groups of disadvantaged children to enjoy holidays in the Surrey countryside.

These holidays are an invaluable opportunity for the young people and have a huge impact in the community.

Whilst working with a stakeholder adjacent to the network, the team became aware of the cause and how they could help voluntarily.

The work included cutting back undergrowth in their grounds, spreading new wood chippings on their playground area and jet washing their extensive patio to remove moss and debris which could cause children to slip and fall.

This work will enable the children to enjoy the extensive grounds available to learn, but most importantly to do so in a safer environment.

Jeff Harris, Joint Chairman of the Land & City Families Trust said:

The charity and trustees are incredibly grateful for all the help, support and effort given to us by Connect Plus Services and the brilliant team who came and spent hours making such a difference to our grounds.

Duncan Hayes, Route Manager, who organised the voluntary work said:

"The Business Strategy Team really enjoyed our day of volunteering with the Land & City Families Trust.  I believe it really shows the difference Connect Plus Services can make in the local community with our volunteering days. We couldn’t have done it without the superb support we received from Daren Collins and the Service Delivery Team at Leatherhead and our colleagues Wendy Dempster and Charmaine Canham in H&S who supported us with Risk Assessments at such short notice."

Read more about our commitment to social value here

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Connect Plus Services Celebrates International Women's Day 2022

International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

This year’s International Women’s Day celebrates the powerful theme of ‘Break the Bias’. This message is one that encourages reflection and awareness on the impact of bias on women’s equality.

Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead.

To mark the day, many of our team are joining the campaign and pledging to #breakthebias, whilst we’re also encouraging open team conversations and running sessions to learn the significance of the day.

Some of our inspirational women at CPS have additionally spent time discussing their experiences and advice.

- - - -

Moreen Achan, IT Project Manager at CPS, describes how she has always had a passion for technology and project management. However, her progression into her career has been impacted by bias, she said ‘I have always worked in a male dominated industry and had to work extra hard, almost having to prove myself to people that I can do my job. I have also been turned down for jobs in the past because I have children.’

Moreen advises anybody feeling any bias in the workplace to ‘work hard, the sky is your limit and not your gender, always speak up.’

Ozlem Tilkidagi, CPS Roadspace systems and Process Lead, explains that stereotypes within the industry provide difficulty. Ozlem said ‘The main challenge in the construction industry is the stereotype that it is not a job for women. Though this is more prevalent on site, it does also happen in offices.’

Women are powerful and there is no job that should be considered as just for one gender. Equality is achievable but only once the gender norms and stereotypes have faded away from society. The world is evolving, and women are becoming more powerful by the day.’

Elleanor Harris, Sustainability Manager, described the awareness day as crucial. She said ‘International Women’s Day is a really important day. It recognises how far we have come as women and is also a reminder to make sure we are empowering each other.’

‘I recently attended a training course called INSPIRE which was all about women’s development not only in the workplace but also in everyday life. It taught me so much about believing in myself which is what International Women’s day is all about!’

Speaking about bias in the workplace, Elleanor said ‘no one should feel like they can’t say anything and there should be support on hand.’

Amy Griffiths, CPS Quality and Performance Auditor, identifies International Women’s Day as ‘a day to celebrate women’s achievements and raise awareness of women’s equality.’

Discussing overcoming stereotypes in the industry Amy said ‘It is assumed that women wouldn’t work in this industry. It needs to be accepted, socially, that no job is dependent on gender.

Leila Nikraz, CPS Roadspace Optimisation Manager also shared her support for the day and talks of bias faced by women in the industry. She said ‘Bias in the industry has made me stronger in wanting to break the stereotype. I would tell anyone to not ignore it and use it, instead, to better yourself.’

‘To break bias in the industry, I think that the expectation that women are actually any different to begin with should be the priority focus. We are all equal, and our work for both men and women speaks for itself.’

CPS is committed to equality and breaking any bias in the industry. Through work with our ED&I team, we continue to raise awareness, continue the conversation and host events to encourage discussion at every opportunity.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Local primary school competition names three CPS gritters 

Taking along one of their iconic gritters, Connect Plus Services (CPS) visited a local primary school to demonstrate the importance of their work when temperatures drop. 

The children at St Peter’s Catholic Primary School, close to the CPS Leatherhead depot, were also taught about road safety, how the gritting team keep drivers on the move in cold weather and the importance of giving gritters space when they’re working.  

Whilst at the school, the CPS team challenged the children to create a name for one of these huge machines. Out of the entries received, three were to be chosen and officially added to the fleet. 

So many fantastic and impressive ideas were designed by the children. It was an especially difficult decision; however, the CPS Leatherhead team crowned their winning names as: 

  • The B.F.G – The Big Friendly Gritter 
  • Defrostinator 
  • Mr Frosty 

Overall, it was an excellent opportunity to show the children a gritter lorry up close, to meet some of the CPS team and to teach about the importance of their work in colder temperatures. 

CPS are now proud to introduce three new names to the fleet. 

Working with local schools forms part of the company’s Adopt a School initiative. This initiative focuses on engaging with children to promote the industry as a future career choice, raise awareness of CPS road activities and campaigns, and to utilise the skills of the business to build improvements to school facilities. 

This initiative is at the heart of the CPS corporate responsibility programme. Read more about it here.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Work to improve A30 Crooked Billet roundabout complete

The £6.4m upgrade to the A30 Crooked Billet roundabout near Staines-upon-Thames is now complete, National Highways announced today.

The transformation has made the junction safer and easier for drivers, making the layout more intuitive and reducing the need to change lanes. Pedestrians and cyclists will benefit too, with more than 700 metres of new lanes.

Matt Feather, National Highways A30 Crooked Billet Junction Project Manager, said:

'This upgrade has made a real difference at the A30 Crooked Billet junction, making it safer for pedestrians and cyclists and making journeys better for the drivers who use it.

Over 20,000 vehicles use the junction every day at peak times. Our improvements will increase traffic capacity and cut the risk of accidents, which will improve people’s journeys and boost the economy.'

Improvements and renovation works included:

  • Upgraded traffic signals and new signs to reflect the new road layout. Introduction of a new signal control system which improves the operation and efficiency of the junction.
  • Improved street lighting by replacing the existing high-pressure sodium lamps with more efficient LED lamps. In addition to being low energy they also reduce light pollution.
  • A new surface-level route across the roundabout with new crossings for pedestrians and cyclists has been introduced. This provides a safer and more direct link for both pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Upgraded pedestrian and cycle routes which improves access between Staines-upon-Thames, Hounslow and Heathrow Airport (delivered in partnership with Surrey Council) to make it easier for people to get around the area on foot, by bicycle and public transport.
  • Overall 700 metres+ of new lanes for safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
  • The east and westbound carriageway markings have been realigned. The previous four narrow lanes have been made in to three wider lanes through the centre of the roundabout in both directions. This change removes the underused fourth lane while matching the three existing lanes on the approaches to the junction, to reduce unnecessary lane changing.
  • The eastbound carriageway approach has been widened for a short section where the road bends left to enter the roundabout. This provides two dedicated lanes which were previously of sub-standard width.
  • Updated and renovated drainage system.

Whilst works were ongoing, community engagement was paramount. Projects included:

  • Improving surfacing and creating access for a local angling club.
  • Constructing a larger space for local Wraysbury Dog Rescue and re-surfacing to improve their access.
  • Supporting the local Manna Foodbank by collecting and delivering food donated by staff and contractors.
  • Contacting local schools to promote the construction industry and encourage students to study STEM subjects
  • Offering voluntary services to several local environment projects

Andy Dean, Chief Executive, Connect Plus said:

'We are proud to have supported National Highways in the delivery of the A30 Crooked Billet junction improvement scheme. This was a particularly complex project with added challenges brought by the pandemic.

The success of the delivery is owed to the hard work and dedication of the collective team, working collaboratively across National Highways, Connect Plus, Connect Plus Services, R&W and the wider supply chain partners.”

The Crooked Billet scheme is part of National Highways M25 junction improvement programme, which is improving eight key junctions around the London Orbital.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

CPS volunteer to support local community pandemic efforts 

Delivering social value is fundamental at Connect Plus Services. It is our mission to work collaboratively with our communities and, as part of this, two paid annual volunteering days are allocated to each member of staff to support local causes. 

Recent efforts within our team demonstrate outstanding voluntary work in the same chosen cause; the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Abhishek Jain, Digital Engineering Lead, became a ‘check-in and chat’ volunteer with the NHS Volunteer Responders in April 2021. Since then, he has been helping people in isolation, particularly supporting them in mental and physical health. 

Abhishek said:

Just before the Christmas break, it was great to help in picking up deliveries from local food banks. Due to COVID, some families were not allowed to leave their homes and others hadn’t eaten in the last 24 hours. I also helped in being on the other end of the phone for elderly and terminally ill patients. Just having a phone call was re-assuring to them as many hadn’t spoken to anyone for 2-3 weeks. 

Richard Mould, Technology Engineer, has taken on huge responsibilities to make an impact in the pandemic, whilst also supporting a homeless charity at Christmas. 

Richard said:

I became a Vaccinator with St John Ambulance at the beginning of the vaccination, I now drive the Treatment Centres into the wider communities as part of the Outreach initiative. 

On Christmas eve I was vaccinating at a doctor’s surgery in Luton, with anther colleague from SJA. We had a steady flow of people throughout the day and I vaccinated around 40 people, as seen in the Daily Express! 

On Christmas day I was volunteering in Homerton, as part of Crisis at Christmas. What can be more rewarding than giving up a little time to make a huge difference to someone in their time of need.’ 

Harsh Bhatia, Procurement Graduate, also used his voluntary time to make a difference in the pandemic, becoming a Vaccine Steward at a local pharmacy. 

Harsh said:

My task was to greet people who had booked an appointment and to register them onto the system. It was very rewarding to be part of the mass vaccination programme and to help the local community. It was very easy to register myself to volunteer, and I was well treated by the staff members at the pharmacy.’

Read more about our commitment to social value here. 

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

M25 Junction 23 improvements complete 

Junction 23 on the M25 in Hertfordshire is the largest junction on England’s motorway network, connecting the M25 with the A1 (M) for Hatfield and South Mimms. At about 1.2km in circumference, the junction sees some of the highest traffic flows on the M25. 

A £7.5m upgrade to the junction began in August 2019, including widening of the Southbound A1 entry slip road to provide a two-lane entry onto the Southbound A1. 

The upgrade also sees a new footway for pedestrians from the BP service station to the existing footway. 

As well as improving safety, the transformation has made the junction safer and easier for drivers and includes an upgrade of the traffic signal timings to improve flow through the junction. 

A new lane at the Bignells Corner exit from South Mimms services, with a widening of the M25 westbound exit slip road to accommodate an additional lane has made the layout more intuitive as drivers approach the junction. 

This has created a more free-flowing and safer network in the area around the junction, helping to accommodate local traffic and improving safety for users, including those using the junction to travel to and from the M25 and wider destinations in the UK. 

Connect Plus and strategic chain partner Connect Plus Services are responsible for operating and maintaining the M25 network, on behalf of National Highways. This includes all adjoining trunk and slip roads. 

Andy Dean, Connect Plus chief executive, said: 

“We are delighted to support National Highways in the successful delivery of the M25 junction improvement scheme at junction 23. The project’s success is a testament to the skills and collaborative working relationship between National Highways, Connect Plus, Connect Plus Services, Jackson and our supply chain. 

“To complete works amidst a global pandemic has presented a number of challenges which our teams have tackled with great determination. We cannot thank them enough for all that’s been accomplished and for the positive impact their efforts will bring to our customers using the strategic road network.” 

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

How the pandemic accelerated the adoption of mobile apps on the M25 Network

Connect Plus Services (CPS), a joint venture of Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis, is responsible for operating and maintaining the M25 network on behalf of Connect Plus and National Highways. 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we adapted to many challenges and changes to the way we work, whilst keeping the country moving at such a crucial time. 

One visible impact has been the increased use of mobile applications by the team. This can particularly be seen in the implementation of the AgileAssets desktop-based asset management system and integrated the Unity mobile application platform.  

We have used the Unity platform to configure a range of applications from scratch in line with our specific business needs.  

When the pandemic hit, the social distancing rules put in place meant that remote working became prevalent for office-based workers and site-based workers needed to change their ways of working to minimise contact with others. 

Operational teams quickly realised that they could reduce the need for close contact by adopting apps available to them.  

To demonstrate this, our lighting inspectors were able to use an app to allow them to go straight on-site to undertake inspections. This removed the need to visit an office first to collect paper-based forms or return them at the end of their shift. 

Pandemic related issues have driven the deployment and uptake of project configured apps. The use of these apps is driving several other benefits, such as efficiency gains, speed of decisions, reduced travel time/costs, better data, media alongside data and job satisfaction. 

Read more about these benefits and the impact of the pandemic on the adoption of mobile apps, click here

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Connect Plus Services celebrates students success at local college awards   

A great evening was spent by the Connect Plus Services team at a local college, The Leigh UTC in Dartford, celebrating their recent awards ceremony. 

These awards were a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of their students and see so many achieving fantastic awards.  

At the event, CPS presented the Computer Science Post 16 Award. This was awarded to Lewis Gibbons, who is currently undertaking work experience with our Digital team.  

Lewis, along with fellow The Leigh UTC student Jack Williams, is working with CPS on work experience as part of their Technology Level (t-Level) course. This is a qualification requirement and they are  both spending one a day a week with our Digital team for twenty weeks. 

Both Lewis and Jack are building an understanding of the processes involved in running a small project, gathering requirements, and delivering outputs. 

Adam Talbot, CPS Digital Transformation Manager, said:

It’s great to have Lewis and Jack working with us on the M25.  We are able to offer them an insight into the world of work, provide them with development opportunities and improve our links with the local community.  They are integrating into the team well and I have given them a project that they can manage as their own with support when they need it.”

Our CPS team left the awards event feeling inspired and ready to continue supporting these amazing young people, who are already making such a positive difference in their communities.  

Working with local schools forms part of our ‘Adopt a School’ initiative. Within this, CPS takes on opportunities to engage with children to promote future careers in the industry, raise awareness of our road activities and campaigns, as well as utilise our skills to improve their facilities. 

 

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Winners at the The Institute of Asset Management Excellence Awards 

Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services were delighted to win the Sustainability and Climate Impact Award at The Institute of Asset Management Excellence Awards, alongside Atkins, Skanska, Toppesfield and FM Conway. 

The award recognises our innovative work installing a new surface course using 50% reclaimed asphalt.  

Asphalt resurfacing is a major carbon footprint contributor and is often required in maintaining the M25 road network. One element of our asset management strategy, aims to minimise our carbon footprint through increased recycling of high-quality materials already available on the network. 

Through the success of this trial, it has demonstrated that we can minimise the environmental impacts of resurfacing on the network by increasing recycled content in the road surface without negatively impacting asset performance.  

It is a very proud award win, and amazing work by everyone involved. 

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

CPS Roadspace team volunteer to make a difference for local cause  

Delivering social value is fundamental to CPS. We make it our mission to work collaboratively with our local communities, from the grass roots up. We are committed to working sustainably and positively contributing to our neighbours, including schools and local causes. Read more about our commitment here. A part of this commitment includes the allocation of two paid volunteering days to all colleagues. 

Recently, our Roadspace team spent the day with the Kent County Council team who look after the country parks in West Kent. They volunteered for the day at Preston Hill, near Lullingstone Castle, a short drive from our Dartford office. 

The site includes an old rifle range from the First World War, which had become totally overgrown. Together they cleared a large amount of the vegetation, allowing space for fencing to be installed around the site for added security.

It is a great cause in our local community and extremely rewarding for the team to make a profound change to the area.  

Leila Nikraz, CPS Roadspace Optimisation Manager, who took part in the volunteering said:

"It was an honour to be able to help Kent CC with the clearing of vegetation. We got to experience the hard work that these individuals undertake daily and our whole team were incredibly pleased with the outcome being able to make a difference to the community.’'

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Dartford Queen Elizabeth II Bridge Celebrates 30 years

This weekend marks 30 years since Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II opened the Dartford Bridge in October 1991.

It was the first bridge to be built at an entirely new location along the river Thames for more than 50 years. When the M25 motorway was completed in 1986, the Dartford tunnels provided a vital link in the national road network.

Beneath the waterline, the bridge rests on two reinforced concrete foundations, each of which is the equivalent in volume of 400 double-decker buses and weighing a total of 85,000 tonnes. These were constructed at a dry dock in Holland and towed across the North Sea by tugs on a 150-mile journey to the River Thames and sunk into position either side of the navigation channel.

Looking back over the 30 years of one of South England’s greatest landmarks, we spoke to Steve Pattrick (Strategic Structures Asset Manager, Connect Plus Services) who was part of the design and construction team.

"In 1989, after asking to join the construction project,  I joined the Dartford team in November that year, only a couple of months after construction began. 

My first memory of working on-site was of me climbing up to the top of the scaffold on one of the piers, which is about 45 meters high now. I still remember the feeling of the scaffold under my feet as I stepped over a gap onto the slip formed pier with the great view that kind of height provides.  

The construction programme was relentless, meaning we worked six days a week for ten to twelve hours a day. We ultimately completed the construction of the bridge in an impressive three years. 

The bridge opened officially on 30 October 1991. I remember being there lifting the cones with the site general manager on the very first night live traffic went across the bridge. I was also pleased to attend the official opening ceremony attended by Her Majesty the Queen. 

I feel proud of the fact that I've worked on almost every single element of the bridge."

The bridge is operated and maintained by our teams at Dartford who work around the clock to keep the bridge and tunnels flowing smoothly. Dartford has its own dedicated control room which monitors the traffic, a team of National Highways' traffic officers, maintenance crews and vehicle recovery teams based on-site to respond to incidents quickly.

We're proud of the great work delivered by our teams at the crossing and for their contribution to keeping the country moving.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Connect Plus Services supports exciting horticultural transformation at local school 

Connect Plus Services (CPS) has been supporting local Folkestone Academy on their horticultural project to transform their outdoor space into areas which incorporate learning, growing and the community.  

Zoe Basham, Landscape Manager at CPS, visited to advise on their plans; discussing which plants to use, cost effective savings, a strategy for the works and how to work with their local community to ensure mutual benefit.  

Plans include a wildflower meadow, renovations to the memorial garden which will include a poppy field to remember fallen heroes in all wars, and an orchard and vegetable plot with a restored polytunnel. 

It is an exciting project and a huge transformation in the making. It will create great areas for everyone to enjoy as well as wildlife and plants space to thrive.  

Working with local schools forms part of our ‘Adopt a School’ initiative. Within this, CPS takes on opportunities to engage with children to promote future careers in the industry, raise awareness of our road activities and campaigns, as well as utilise our skills to improve their facilities.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Connect Plus Services awarded 5 stars by the Considerate Constructors Scheme

The Considerate Constructors Scheme has awarded Connect Plus Services (CPS) five stars in its latest assessment.

The rating follows a virtual visit by the scheme to assess the business and its approach to five key categories – Appearance, Community, Environment, Safety and the Workforce.

Each category is scored out of nine, with CPS achieving top marks across the board, and being rated above industry average.

This also means that Connect Plus Services retains its ‘performance beyond compliance’ and demonstrates its continued commitment to the Considerate Constructors Scheme’s mission to raise industry standards.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

A fantastic win at the prestigious Motor Transport Awards 2021

 

Connect Plus Services (CPS), together with Balfour Beatty Plant and Fleet, were crowned winners in the innovation category at the prestigious Motor Transport Awards.

The award recognised the development of the vehicle mounted vacuum litter picker, which now forms a crucial part of the CPS’ fleet.

The innovative design enables maintenance crews to collect litter of various sizes, shapes, and weights from the roadside with the use of a handheld vacuum pipe secured to a custom-built machine, mounted on a truck bed. The litter is then deposited into a compartment within the vehicle, and any dust contained through a specialised filter.

The litter picker was designed and built by the partnership, working collaboratively with CPS’ litter picking crews to ensure the new device improved the workers’ health and safety when working on the UK’s busiest motorway, whilst also improving the rate of litter picking.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

NHS Big Tea supporting local NHS Trust

In partnership with Highways England, our team at Dartford took part in the NHS Big Tea, raising £425 for the Dartford & Gravesham NHS Trust.

 

The team did so by organising a cake sale at our Dartford depot, which was a huge success.

 

Everyone was encouraged to get involved or, if it wasn’t possible, to enjoy their own tea break elsewhere whilst kindly donating to the cause online.

 

It was a great opportunity to show our appreciation and support for a cause close to the hearts of many in the North Kent area, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

QEII Bridge welcomes thriving kestrel chicks

 

The M25 team were delighted to see the QEII bridge become home to flourishing kestrel chicks after a mother kestrel was spotted creating a nest on the walkway.

It wasn’t long until six kestrel chicks were spotted in the nest after camera traps were carefully placed on the walkway and set to record. After four weeks the chicks had grown into fledglings and were ready to leave the nest and start exploring the surrounding habitats.

The RSPB states that there are approximately 46,000 breeding pairs of kestrel present in the UK. This number has continued to decline significantly in the last few decades due to a loss in habitat and food, putting kestrels on the Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern.

Kestrels will continue to utilise artificial structures such as the QEII bridge to nest and shelter, hence, it is in our best interest to ensure they remain undisturbed by our activities.

To do so, the walkway on which is nest is located has been closed off so that no works will be taking place there until the nest has been vacated.

Oliver Bevilacqua, Assistant Ecologist at CPS, said: ‘Getting the chance to see the kestrel chicks through the camera trap was an enchanting experience as it highlighted the ability of these amazing birds to utilise artificial structures to successfully breed, shelter, and raise chicks into independent fledglings. I was able to see the chicks grow up and develop their flying and hunting skills through the camera trap we set up next to the nest. I’m happy to see that they are now able and healthy enough to take care of themselves.’

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

M25 inspires young careers at Highways England Education Group’s first virtual work experience event

As a member of the Highways England Education Group, Connect Plus (CP) and Connect Plus Services (CPS) were proud to be involved in the group’s first virtual work experience week, which is discussed in HighwaysIndustry.com.

The initiative was aimed at young people aged 14-18, who have an interest in construction and engineering within the highways sector. The purpose of the event  was to provide them with an insight into the industry and to encourage them to consider a potential career in the field.

The week involved daily mentoring and projects resembling industry tasks. Whilst learning, numerous experts were introduced and talked about their varying disciplines.

Sid Paturi, CPS Lead Estimator, engaged with a group of year 10 students, discussing the estimating and tendering processes on projects, as well as more on the industry in general.

 

The M25 team is committed to engaging with young people throughout their education and raising awareness of career opportunities in the industry. The company also provides all employees with two paid volunteering days per year, allowing staff to give back and add value to local communities surrounding the M25 network.

If you’re interested in a career keeping Europe’s busiest motorway operational, find more information about our career opportunities here

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Healthier Highways Initiative discussed in Highways Today

Elaine Gazzini, Programme & Technical Director at Connect Plus, discusses the collaborative initiative of ‘Healthier Highways’ alongside Steve Perkins, Managing Director of Steve Perkins Associates in Highways Today.

In the piece, industry health and safety is under the spotlight, particularly the stark imbalance between working on accident prevention and ill-health prevention.

Health, safety and wellbeing is a priority across the M25 network, in addition to being a focus which is shared across the One Community framework. This framework consists of six main supply chain partners - Jackson Civil Engineering, Osborne, Tarmac, Skanska and R&W Civil Engineering, alongside strategic supply chain partner, Connect Plus Services (CPS). Led by Connect Plus, together the framework comes together to collectively develop and share like-minded values, behaviours and initiatives.

Healthier Highways is one of these initiatives, whereby a new collaboration was created with Steve Perkins Associates; initially focusing on increasing awareness of workplace health risks via interactive workshops.

The results of the workshops set the foundations for the Healthier Highways initiative, which is aimed at improving worker health protection on the M25 network through encouraging everyone to Stay Wise, Reduce Risk and Protect Health.

The team selected dust and noise hazards of pavement works as their initial focus areas. Subsequent work revealed the need for improvements, with steps underway to begin do so. Plans are also ongoing to expand on the programme and its approach.

Discussing the initiative and its progress, Andy Dean, CEO of Connect Plus said:

"It’s been a great coming together as a Framework and CPS, to really inject some life into this…and to be able to get some data regarding the environment we’re putting our people into.’"

Read more about the Healthier Highways initiative here.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

CPS celebrates ex-forces heroes to mark Armed Forces Day

Connect Plus Services (CPS) is proud to support and recognise the Armed Forces community for their service, dedication, and efforts to keep us safe in the UK and across the globe.

With a growing ex-forces community operating in a range of roles across the business, CPS recognises that many of the available career opportunities are perfectly suited to service leavers and the breadth of skills gained through experience with the Armed Forces.

One service leaver, now based at CPS Scratchwood Depot, is Mark Turner, Traffic Management Operative. Before joining CPS, Mark served with the Battalion of Rifles and saw active duty in Afghanistan, carrying out operational exercises across the globe during his eight years of service.

His military service brings a valuable skillset to Connect Plus Services, in addition to countless transferable ‘soft’ skills like confidence, teamwork and crisis management.

Richard Mould, CPS Technology Engineer, served in the Royal Navy between 1991 and 1996 as a Weapons Engineer. He said: “Most of my time was on shore training as an Electronics Engineer and playing Volleyball, representing the Royal Navy. I spent 12 months on a Type 42 Destroyer (HMS Liverpool) and visited many places, from joint operations training in the North Atlantic to an operational role in the Persian Gulf, stopping off at Gibraltar and Egypt along the way.”

The annual national campaign gives everyone the opportunity to show their support for the men and women of the Armed Forces past and present, including those currently serving, their families, reservists, veterans and cadets.

Robert Haddow, who is currently Operations and Maintenance Manager for the Northwest Quadrant of the M25, was a commando trained Royal Engineer within the Armed Forces having served a total of 13 years.

Rob said: “Every member of the Armed Forces offers so much to civilian employers and the Career Transition Partnership is a great asset to have while making the transition. They help and assist you along the way while organising many Job Fairs with Civilian Employers who are looking for Service Leavers. Connect Plus Services are actively looking to recruit service leavers as they know the skill set and work ethic that we provide.”

Through parent organisations, Connect Plus Services are proud members of the Armed Forces Covenant. CPS recognises that many Armed Forces leavers have transferable skills which are ideally suited to the construction sector and are committed to offering a rewarding career, with opportunities for continued development.

Armed Forces Day takes place on the last Saturday of June and recognises the bravery and commitment of the Armed Forces both past and present who risk and have risked their lives in the line of duty.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Harnessing the power of digital on the M25

Andy Dean, CEO of Connect Plus, shares his thoughts on the future of digital innovation on Western Europe’s busiest road, the M25, in the latest edition of Civil Engineering Surveyor Magazine.

In the piece, he discusses the benefits of creating a highways digital twin through the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to enhance the driving experience of those using the network, improve the safety of our teams and reduce our environmental impact. Andy also talks about the digital revolution that is taking place across the M25 network and how it has transformed the organisation’s operations.

Discussing the decision to deploy Sensat’s fixed-wing unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to produce highly accurate, geo-referenced 2D and 3D in one single source of truth (SSOT), Andy said:

“Working together we covered 120 miles of highway, consisting of over 23 billion data points and captured 85,000 high-resolution images. Utilising the accuracy of UAS photogrammetry, which allows for levels of spatial accuracy to within 25mm, we are now able to collaboratively share reliable, consistent and up-to-date asset information that can used to take remote measurements.”

Read more about the new technologies being used by Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services on the M25 here.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Connect Plus Services (CPS) joins the #MillionMileMission as part of the Great British Spring Clean campaign

CPS collected over 40 bags of litter, contributing more than 300 miles towards Keep Britain Tidy’s #MillionMileMission campaign, which asked volunteers to pledge minutes and hours of litter picking to be converted into miles.

The litter picking activities saw the teams clear areas around the office depots and nearby Welcome Break Services, supplementing the great work that M25 operational teams deliver on the network daily.

Emily Catt, Environmental Assistant at CPS said “It was so nice to see some friendly faces at our depots and do our bit for the environment at the same time. It was incredible to see the change we could make as a team. It was a great effort by everyone!”

CPS has also encouraged its employees to use volunteering time and take part in the campaign by litter picking around their homes and local schools. This includes Gabriella Margherita, CPS Communications Business Partner.

Gabriella said: “I got my seven-year-old son, Lorenzo, involved as he loves litter picking and receiving praises from neighbours and passers-by. It’s great to see him feel good through doing good and notice how this small action can make a big difference to the environment around him.”

Throughout the two-week campaign, the CPS operational teams collected over 700 of litter from the M25 Network.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Register now: Transportation Virtual Careers Fair

Ready to shape a great future together?

Connect Plus Services (CPS) is part of a joint venture and Atkins, one of our parent companies, will be hosting a Transportation Virtual Careers Fair this month.

Transport is one of the few sectors where the demand for talented professionals remains constant. We're helping to keep people moving, rise to the challenges of the future and create net zero transport solutions for our clients. To support this, we are looking for individuals looking to make a positive impact on the world.

To learn more about our opportunities, join us at our Virtual Careers Fair on 23rd June. You'll be able to meet key members of our business, ask questions, talk about job opportunities, as well as attend a webinar to get a feel for our projects and team culture.

We're recruiting for a variety of mid to senior roles across our Atkins Transportation and Faithful+Gould businesses.  Our highways, rail, consultancy, and commercial teams are growing with some exciting projects underway and a multitude of new projects in the pipeline. Take a look at the ‘Areas of Interest’ on our registration page to see if your skills align.

Once you've registered, all you'll need on the day is a smart device with a web browser, and you'll be good to go.

WHEN: Wednesday, 23rd June 2021

TIMES: Session 11.00 AM – 4.00 PM (GMT)

Register: https://bit.ly/3x3Nqnu

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Work to improve major junction on M25 now complete

Work to improve journey times on a section of motorway that sees some of the highest traffic flows of any road in England is now complete, Highways England announced today (Thursday 8 March).

The £6m upgrade at junction 13 of the M25 in Staines, Surrey, is situated between the M3 and M4 motorways and serves the towns of Egham and Staines-Upon-Thames via the A30. 

The transformation has made the junction safer and easier for drivers, making the layout more intuitive and reducing the need to change lanes.

Improvements which began in November 2019 have now successfully reduced congestion and increased capacity at the junction through carriageway widening on both the gyratory and the clockwise/northbound exit slip road, which include additional lanes, new traffic signals and technology, safety barriers, and a new maintenance layby.

This has now created a more free-flowing and safer network, helping to accommodate local traffic and improving safety for users, including those using the junction to travel to and from the M25 and wider destinations in the UK.

Nicola Bell, Regional Director for Operations at Highways England, said: “I am delighted that this significant junction upgrade is now fully open. These improvements have already added vital extra capacity, and improved journey times for road users.

“This new junction will tackle congestion and improve safety for drivers on the local road network and for up to 200,000 drivers who use this section of the M25 every day.

“We understand that this work has been disruptive and frustrating for those affected and would like to thank everyone for their cooperation and patience.”

Andy Dean, Chief Executive, Connect Plus, said:

“We are proud to support Highways England’s plans to continuously improve journeys for all our customers. Collaboration between Highways England, Connect Plus, Connect Plus Services, R&W and our supply chain was key to the success of this project and I have been inspired by our team who have worked tirelessly to deliver this work.

“We cannot thank them enough for their hard work and sheer determination during this complex and challenging project, within an urban environment.”

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

M25 success at the Highways Awards 2020

Connect Plus Services (CPS)  in partnership with Balfour Beatty Plant & Fleet have received a Highways Award in the Highways Maintenance Efficiency category for the innovative custom-designed vehicle-mounted vacuum litter picker, which was designed and built by the partnership.

Working collaboratively with CPS’ litter picking crews, the litter picker was designed to improve health and safety when working on the UK’s busiest motorway, while also improving the rate of litter picking. Through the implementation of the vacuum pump, which pulls litter in with suction as opposed to teams manually collecting the waste, the machine has proven to increase the speed at which litter can be collected while reducing the amount of time workers spend in a live highway environment.

Connect Plus, together with M25 community partners Connect Plus Services, Skanska Toppesfield, FM Conway and Atkins were also successful in the awards, being highly commended for their innovative surfacing trial using 50% reclaimed asphalt in the Environmental Sustainability category.

This innovative trial, which has already secured a CIHT UK Climate Change award this year, is the first of its kind on the strategic road network and has delivered a carbon footprint saving of 9.46kg CO2e/T, resulting from a 50% reduction in primary aggregate, a 61% reduction in bitumen imported and reduced transport requirements.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Connect Plus and partners digitally map the UK’s busiest motorway

Connect Plus has successfully digitally mapped all 120 miles of the M25 – together with strategic partners Connect Plus ServicesSensat and Osborne.

Utilising Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services’ detailed knowledge of the M25 and Osborne’s operations expertise, Sensat used its advanced drone data capture and visualisation capability to capture 23 billion data points and 85,000 high-resolution images in 30 days – the largest drone mapping endeavour to have taken place in the UK to date.

With permission from the Civil Aviation Authority to fly drones within built up areas, the drones were used to remotely capture physical photogrammetric survey data - the science of making reliable measurements using photographs, or digital photo imagery, to locate features on or above the surface of the earth – safely and efficiently, without the need for traffic management or lane closures. This resulted in the production of highly accurate, geo-referenced 2D and 3D representations of the UK’s busiest motorway and its adjoining trunk and slip roads.

Following the survey, the data was ‘visualised’ by turning the images and data into a 3D model of the road network, which will now be used to create a digital representation of the M25 environment. It will become a key source of detailed information, supporting the team in planning and decision-making, ultimately reducing the need for physical surveys to be carried out in a live highways environment.

Andy Dean, Chief Executive of Connect Plus, said: “We are thrilled that we’re now in a position to create the first full digitisation of the M25, giving us a new and innovative way to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers, whilst limiting disruption and reducing our roadworkers’ exposure to live traffic. We’ve already significantly reduced time spent in a live highways environment during pre-works surveys and, by having fewer vehicles on the ground moving between traditional survey points, we have reduced our carbon emissions by 95%compared to traditional survey methods.

“This initiative is our first milestone in creating a much wider and integrated digital twin, which will support our planning, monitoring and decision-making.”

James Dean, Chief Executive Officer of Sensat commented on the use of data to help with decision making: “Capturing, visualising and then sharing topographic data in our platform means asset and road quality inspections, measurements and accurate reports can be undertaken quickly without people on site. Mark-ups can be made and are visible for all users, and descriptions and attachments can be added directly to enrich the data.

“With these tools, the complexity is taken out of physical data management and ultimately streamlines manual processes, increases productivity and supports the project’s safe delivery.”

Jamie Harrison, Highways Director of Osborne, said: “With the use of this 3D model, we have been able to increase safety by putting fewer employees on the M25 carriageways at night when inspections and surveys take place.

“All those who work on the M25 can now directly access accurate visual data remotely - to inspect assets, make decisions and reduce the need for boots on the ground.”

Francis Cluett, Head of M25 Operations for Highways England, said: “This innovation is a fantastic step in using digital technology to reduce disruption to road users and improve the safety of road workers. Highways England looks forward to working with Connect Plus to see the benefits this technology delivers in support of our ambition to integrate digital technology into every aspect of our project lifecycles.”

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

M25 team’s approach to LEAN recognised as industry leading

M25 scores 3.4 (out of 4) in latest Highways England Lean Maturity Assessment

Together with Connect Plus (CP), Connect Plus Services (CPS) has achieved the highest Highways England Lean Maturity Assessment (HELMA) score awarded to any organisation in the Highways England supply chain to date.

The achievement recognises CPS’ commitment to fostering a culture of continual improvement and the adoption of Lean principles, which the organisation has been working hard to embed since 2016.

CPS’ Lean approach promotes integrated work planning and clearer processes, standardised procedures, an enhanced understanding of customer needs, and the elimination of unnecessary steps and rework (waste), all of which contribute to delivering value and improved journeys for road users.

During the assessment, CPS demonstrated strong evidence of the breadth and depth of its LEAN culture, from the adoption of digital technology and automation to structured problem solving by Lean practitioners and the implementation of Lean techniques by depot managers.

Kelly Burdall, CPS Head of Performance and Quality, said: “Our commitment to LEAN has been consistent since the first HELMA assessment in 2016. Since then, all the teams at CPS have really demonstrated how the application of Lean is an integral part of how we work and have embedded this approach into our culture.

I’m really proud of the team’s contribution and hard work and I can’t praise this year’s HELMA team enough.”

Through improved and more efficient design and build, CPS can ensure its works are delivered safely for those working on site and the travelling public, whilst also continually improving the customer experience.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Delivering schemes and smiles - M25 community supports local charities as part of improvement scheme

Working on behalf of Connect Plus and Highways England, Principle Contractor R&W, are currently delivering improvements at the Crooked Billet Roundabout in Staines, Surrey. This will see improvements to safety and traffic flow at the roundabout, alongside improved routes for pedestrians and cyclists.

As part of the organisation’s commitment to social value, R&W have also been making voluntary contributions to support the local community.

Their community based works have included the provision of 30 fence panels to a local dog rescue charity based in Wraysbury. The charity provides homes for dogs that have been maltreated or have no secure home, and the land provides a safe open-air environment for the dogs to exercise. Sandy Sharma, who works on behalf of several charities, contacted R&W to request support to expand the safe area with some Heras fencing panels, as the number of dogs is increasing. The team helped to install the panels and improve access to the field.

Sandy Sharma said: “I am overwhelmed with the help R&W team provided, and so grateful, it will mean so much for the dogs we help”.

The team has been supporting Manna Food Bank, a local charity based in the Spelthorne area and so far has donated over 200 Kg of food and toiletry donations. The site team’s first delivery took place in Staines led by R&W Project Manager Sam Martell and Site Agent Anna Pappa.

Manna Food Bank said: “A very big thank you for the wonderful delivery you and your colleagues made today. We are very grateful for your support. Without donations such as yours we would be unable to assist the many families and clients in Spelthorne requesting our help.”

Most recently, R&W were approached by a local angling club who share the entrance to their site compound, as they could not access the track to the fishing lake due to poor surface condition and overgrown vegetation.

The team improved the track surface and cut back the vegetation which now allows anglers and those wishing to visit the lake to safely access the track and the car park.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

CPS helps local primary school keep pupils and families safe

Connect Plus Services (CPS) has lent 200 cones to a local primary school in Enfield, to help mark out a one-way system within the school grounds, which will improve social distancing and help keep children and families safe during the COVID pandemic.

Upon receiving a request for assistance from Houndsfield Primary School, Carl Snell, Operations & Maintenance Manager at the CPS Blunts Farm depot, was happy to assist with lending the school traffic management equipment. A crew was organised to deliver the cones to the school, and to support in creating the one-way system needed.

Feedback from the school was very positive and the children were delighted to see the Traffic Management vehicle parked up at the school grounds, with its flashing lights in action.

This collaborative approach to safety, forms part of the company’s Adopt a School initiative, in which the company works with local schools to build relationship with local communities.

Connect Plus Services is happy to support schools with physical improvements, by engaging with students at events such as career days or by visiting the school to raise awareness of important topics such as Road Safety, looking after the environment and career opportunities.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

M25 shortlisted in this year’s Highways UK Intelligent Infrastructure Challenge

Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services have been shortlisted in this year's Highways UK Intelligent Infrastructure Challenge, in partnership with Highway Data Systems and AgileAssets. The shortlisted award submission focuses on the team’s approach to full depth asset management by collating digital data to enable longer lasting roads.

This approach uses automated pavement construction quality information to improve road asset management and deterioration modelling. The project uses BIM principles and seeks to join up engineering areas that were previously data segregated

The solution improves the quality of asset information, which will enable better decision making and will ensure resources are utilised more efficiently so roads can be maintained at a higher standard whilst minimising future works and associated disruption to the travelling public.

This solution is being applied on the M25 network by Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services as part of the wider digital transformation of the M25 contract.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

M25 Community Healthier Highways initiative highlighted by Safer Highways

The M25 Community has successfully launched its Healthier Highways initiative, which is leading the way in the prevention of road worker ill-health.

To successfully manage, operate and maintain the M25 network, Connect Plus works as One Community, leading a group of six main supply chain partners - Jackson Civil Engineering, Osborne, Tarmac, Skanska and R&W Civil Engineering, alongside strategic supply chain partner, Connect Plus Services (CPS). The community is built on strong relationships and an innovative value-driven community culture, which enables the organisations to come together to collectively develop and share like-minded values, behaviours and initiatives. This provides a strong foundation from which to build a strategic approach to worker health protection.

The Healthier Highways initiative was launched at the M25 10-year safety stand down events held earlier this year with over 350 staff from offices, depots and sites across the Community, in attendance. The feedback was very encouraging as many began to grasp the seriousness of health risks.

Elaine Gazzini, Connect Plus Programme and Technical Director and Steve Perkins, MD of Steve Perkins Associates, discuss the initiative in Issue 7 of Safer Highways magazine. The full piece can be found here (pages 12 – 14).

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Connect Plus Services joins Great British September Clean campaign

Connect Plus Services (CPS) was proud to join the country’s biggest mass participation environmental campaign in September, the Great British September Clean. Throughout the two-week campaign, the CPS teams collected over two thousand bags of litter from the M25 Network.

Each year, around 35,000 bags of litter are collected from the M25 network. This poses a risk to wildlife and the environment, as well as putting maintenance crews at risk when collecting discarded items.

Highways England has also supported the campaign and urged drivers to clean up their act as it reported that around 200,000 bags of litter are collected from the motorway network each year.

Highways England’s head of customer and operational requirements Freda Rashdi said: “The simple fact is that if litter wasn’t dropped in the first place it wouldn’t need to be picked up. Litter is not only unsightly and a risk to wildlife and the environment, but it also puts our workers at risk collecting it and it diverts time and money that could be better spent on improving the network.

“Litter is an important national issue and we’re pleased to be able to support the Great British September Clean arranging extra litter picks to coincide with the campaign and by urging people to take their litter home.”

This campaign, traditionally known as the Great British Spring Clean, was postponed to September due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and usually takes place during Spring to coincide with the Keep Britain Tidy initiative. Initiatives such as these are designed to inspire people to eliminate litter now and for future generations.

Find out how you can get involved in your local community by clicking here.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Respect for the environment, workforce and customers secures CPS Bronze at the 2020 Considerate Constructors Scheme’s National Site Awards

The Considerate Constructors Scheme has awarded Connect Plus Services’ Leatherhead depot a Bronze award at the 2020 National Site Awards. The award follows a performance assessment against the Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice, which demonstrated an excellent consideration towards the public, its workforce and the environment.

The assessment follows a number of criteria and observes the site based on the following categories: Care about Appearance, Respect for the Community, Protecting the Environment, Securing everyone’s Safety and Value the Workforce.

The Leatherhead depot scored an impressive 44 (of 50), which sees it retain its Performance Beyond Compliance rating for the third consecutive year, in addition to the Bronze award.

The monitor noted that “Respect for the community continues to be excellent, with a robust systematic approach being taken in considering and communicating with all stakeholders.

“Protection for the environment remains exceptional, with a robust systematic approach being taken to the measurement and continual improvement of a broad range of environmental aspects and impacts.

“The workforce is valued and the standard of care is exceptional, with a continuing open and positive culture supported by a comprehensive array of well maintained facilities.”

This achievement demonstrates Connect Plus Services’ dedication, effort and commitment to raising standards of considerate construction.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Complex abnormal load movement for Mammoet and National Grid proves another success for Connect Plus Services

Connect Plus Services recently enabled the seamless movement of a 250-tonne abnormal load across the Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing, on behalf of Mammoet and National Grid. The move required expert planning by the CPS Abnormal Loads team, in collaboration with the Network Occupancy and Structures Teams, ahead of the Super Grid Transformer making its way on the M25 network from the Port of Tilbury to the Chessington Substation in Southwest London.

The collaboration between the CPS Abnormal Loads team, Essex Police, Sussex Police, Highways England and customer, Mammoet, was vital in ensuring that the oversized load arrived at its destination safely, on time and with minimal disruption to road users.

Particular care and attention were paid to the Dartford Crossing due to the weight and size of the load, which totalled 67-metres long and 6-metres wide. Throughout the movement, CPS’s expert team of engineers were on site to monitor the bridge structure, whilst Incident Support Units were mobilised to assist with escorting the load.

Rob Bailey, Routing Logistic Coordinator at Mammoet, said: “A massive thank you for all your help this weekend with the abnormal load move from Tilbury to Chessington Sub-station. Feedback from our crew on the day, said that a fantastic job was done by all parties involved, with total professionalism, allowing the operation to go smoothly.”

Susana Nevese e Brookes, Lead Project Manager at National Grid, said: “On the evening of the 19th of June whilst in attendance to see the Super Grid Transformer cross the QEII Bridge, I had the opportunity to meet two members of the Connect Plus Services Team that had been involved with the planning of this event. They were both present to see and photograph the Transformer making the journey across the bridge. It was great to see their level of enthusiasm and engagement, equivalent to those in my team involved with this Project. I would like to extend the Thank You on behalf of National Grid to the Connect Plus Team for the great work you do to enable the movement of our Super Grid Transformers.”

Louise Haining, CPS Asset and Project Delivery Director said: “We were delighted to facilitate Mammoet and National Grid with the movement of the 250-tonne Super Grid Transformer. This was a complex move, which required our collective knowledge of the network and experience to effectively plan and carry out the movement.

The CPS Network Occupancy team processed over 50,000 abnormal loads movements, including special orders last year on the M25 network. The network provides an essential transport link for the distribution of goods and services, whilst also keeping to our primary objective of delivering a safe and serviceable network for all."

 

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

M25 Community discuss innovation on the M25 network in New Civil Engineer

The M25 Community recently featured in New Civil Engineer, alongside Highways England, discussing the innovative 50% recycled asphalt trials currently taking place on the M25 network.

In the interview, the team discuss how together with Highways England, they are breaking down barriers in terms of reusing material in greater quantities on the Strategic Road Network (SRN).

 

This innovative approach is not simply about innovation, it’s also about successful collaboration between clients and contractors, which is at the heart of the M25 Community.

In the piece, Quintin Viljoen, CPS Professional Head of Pavements, explains that current specifications limit recycled aggregates to 10%, but raising that number is a key part of Connect Plus’ sustainable development action plan.

David O’Sullivan, framework manager for M25 pavement renewal at Skanska, adds: ““We have a high standard of as-built information on the M25 and what we’re looking at is working with our supply chain to develop a system where we move away from recycling road planings at a low value and recognise and use it as a high value resource. We want it to become more business as usual rather than something unusual.”

The team involved in the implementation and continued monitoring of this trial comprise Connect Plus, Connect Plus Services, Highways England, FM Conway, Skanska, Toppesfield & Atkins.

To find out more about how the M25 community are innovating on the M25 network, you can read the article in full here.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Connect Plus Services feature in BBC4 documentary – The Hidden Wilds of the Motorway

Connect Plus Services Operations and Maintenance Manager for the North East Quadrant, Carl Snell, recently appeared in BBC4 documentary, The Hidden Wilds of the Motorway, to provide an insight into the essential works carried out on the M25 network to ensure it remains safe and serviceable for the millions of vehicles using the network each day.

The documentary features author and naturalist, Helen Macdonald, embarking on a clockwise loop around London’s orbital motorway - searching for hidden wildness and natural beauty bordering the M25.

 

The documentary explores the importance of motorway verges in providing sanctuaries for insects, animals and fungi, all of which can benefit from the unique environments that these verges offer. In addition to many surprising finds, the piece investigates whether nature can provide insights into driver behaviour and whether taking inspiration from fungi can subsequently reduce congestion when incidents occur.

Helen also discusses with Carl the variety of important works undertaken on the network, and how detailed planning is carried out so that works can be delivered as efficiently as possible, before the road is fully reopened to the travelling public in the morning.

The M25 team are committed to protecting and enhancing habitats for wildlife bordering the network, with the CPS environment team working continuously to implement environmental initiatives ranging from bee banks to species rich grasslands around the M25.

Catch up on the documentary on BBC iPlayer here.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

M25 success at CIHT Awards

Connect Plus, together with M25 community partners Connect Plus Services, Skanska Toppesfield, FM Conway and Atkins have been awarded this year’s CIHT UK Climate Change award for their innovative surfacing trial using 50% reclaimed asphalt.

Based on emerging best practice, the newly developed surface course, comprising 50% reclaimed asphalt, was successfully installed on the M25 between junctions 25 and 26 in September 2019. This is the first of its kind on the strategic road network.

In addition to delivering a safe and smooth driving experience for road users, the innovative trial has delivered a carbon footprint saving of 9.46kg CO2e/T, resulting from a 50% reduction in primary aggregate, a 61% reduction in bitumen imported and reduced transport requirements.

The collaborative approach to the trial was highly commended by the CIHT judges, and demonstrates what is possible when multiple industry players come together and operate as one community.

 

Andy Dean, Connect Plus Chief Executive, said: “This innovation marks a step change in our approach to surfacing on the strategic road network. Through our combined strength as the M25 community, we will continue to innovate and deliver maximum value for our client, Highways England, and the travelling public, whilst continually working to reduce our carbon footprint.”

Dave Neal, Connect Plus Services Managing Director, said: “I am delighted that the 50% reclaimed asphalt trial has been recognised by the CIHT judges. This award is testament to the outstanding collaboration within the M25 community and our collective commitment to the environment. We are dedicated to driving forward new innovations on the strategic road network, with the intense nature of the M25 making it an ideal testbed.”

The M25 community was also highly commended at the CIHT Awards for its ultra-low carbon concrete pilot on the M25, which has seen a team from Jackson, Connect Plus, DB Group and Axtell reduce carbon emissions by 77%. M25 community member Tarmac, was also highly commended for its innovative inflatable barriers, which have been designed to resemble concrete, and take only 2 minutes to inflate. The barriers act as a visual deterrent for worksite incursions and increase the safety of workforce and road users.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Highways England Hackathon - Success!

We had amazing success over the weekend in the Highways England Hackathon!  Our team came third out of twenty teams that took part!

Mei-Leng and Augusto Aldeghi took part in a joint CPS and Balfour Beatty team.  The 24 hour Hackathon was organised by Highways England in Milton Keynes and was the opportunity to utilise Highways England's data to develop real world solutions for England’s Strategic Road Network.

 Highways England provided data from traffic flows, accident information and data on hardware on the network, competitors were asked to find ways to aid decision making and planning, improve safety, reduce disruption and provide a better service to road users.

A massive thank you to Mei-Leng and Augusto Aldeghi for taking time out of their weekends to represent CPS at a high profile Highways England event!

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Considerate Constructors Scheme – the scores are in!

Following our Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) assessment last week, we are delighted to announce that we have scored 44 out of 50. This is two points higher than last year and equates to 4.5 stars out of 5.

The overall score is based on the performance of our registered sites across the network.

We scored ‘exceptional’ in a number of categories, including Appearance, Community, Safety and Workforce. This truly demonstrates our dedication as a business to being a considerate constructor.

Thank you to everyone who has been involved in the CCS audits throughout the year and we should all be proud of this excellent score.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Revamp for M25/A2 junction in Kent now complete

A 15-month upgrade to one of the M25’s busiest junctions has now been completed, Highways England announced.

Junction 2 on the M25, which is also known as The Darenth interchange and links the M25 with the A2 in Kent has been upgraded in a £6m project to improve traffic flow and reduce collisions.

The £6m upgrade has created an extra lane on the roundabout and an extended slip road to increase capacity, as well as improvements to the traffic lights to help ease the flow of traffic using the roundabout. Road signs and lane markings on the roundabout have also been improved, and traffic enforcement cameras have been installed to improve compliance with the traffic lights.

Highways England route sponsor Tommy Whittingham said:

“This upgrade to the Darenth Interchange is the most significant improvement work that has been carried out at this junction for over 10 years. The junction is about two miles away from the Dartford Crossing, and congestion here can cause a knock-on effect for drivers heading to the tunnels or away from the QEII bridge. This vital upgrade will also help to ease congestion for drivers using the local roads in the area too.”

“Most of the work while we were upgrading took place overnight, and I would like to thank drivers for their patience over the last 15 months while we completed this important work.”

The Darenth interchange often suffers from congestion at peak times and queues on the junction stretching back onto the main carriageways of the A2 and the M25, causing frequent delays and increasing the risk of collisions.

The junction also experiences issues with drivers jumping red lights and poor lane discipline which these upgrades will help to address.

The improvements at junction 2 include:

  • Upgraded traffic signal timings to improve junction efficiency
  • An additional lane on the roundabout to increase capacity on the junction
  • Extending the A2 London bound exit slip onto the M25 link road
  • Improved road signs and markings on the roundabout
  • Red traffic light enforcement camera to improve safety on the M25 anti-clockwise off slip

The upgrade of M25 junction 2 is part of a £10m package of measures to help ease congestion at major traffic bottlenecks around the M25 at Dartford, ahead of the completion of the Lower Thames Crossing in 2027.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Sofia Athanassiou Recognised as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Engineering

Sofia Athanassiou, Commercial Director at Connect Plus (CP), has been announced as one of the top 100 Most Influential Women in the Engineering Sector. The list, which is produced by board appointments firm Inclusive Boards in partnership with the Financial Times, recognises exceptional women role models across the industry.

Sofia has earned a position on this list, having excelled throughout her career. Sofia provides leadership across the wider CP stakeholder community and is an Executive Director for Connect Plus. Sofia is also responsible for the commercial robustness of the asset renewal program; and the contract/commercial performance of Connect Plus and its supply chain.

Andy Dean, Chief Executive, Connect Plus, said: “We are delighted that Sofia’s contribution to the industry has been recognised by Inclusive Boards and the Financial Times. It is vital that as an industry we continue to break down barriers and encourage more women to enter and remain in the sector.

“Sofia’s journey is a prime example of the career opportunities available. Sofia has progressed from Bid Manager to Commercial Director and Executive Director on the Board, all whilst balancing her responsibilities as a working mother and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.”

Sofia is passionate about bringing young women into Engineering and advises women to “never stop learning, stay curious.”

The full ‘100 Most Influential Women in the Engineering Sector’ list can be found here.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Picking up pace: state-of-the-art innovation set to change the way the UK’s busiest motorway is cleaned

The innovative new design enables maintenance crews to collect litter of various sizes, shapes, and weights from the roadside with the use of a handheld vacuum pipe secured to a custom-built machine, mounted on a truck bed. The litter is then deposited into a compartment within the vehicle, and any dust contained through a specialised filter.

The litter picker was designed and built by the partnership, working collaboratively with CPS’ litter picking crews to ensure the new device improved the workers’ health and safety when working on the UK’s busiest motorway, whilst also improving the rate of litter picking.

Through the implementation of the vacuum pump, which pulls litter in with suction as opposed to teams manually collecting the waste, the machine will increase the speed at which litter can be collected whilst reducing the amount of time workers spend on a live highway environment. In addition, the new vacuum pump also removes the chance of crews coming into contact with hazardous or unpleasant substances.

Following a successful trial on the M25 network, the vehicle will now form a crucial part of Connect Plus Services’ fleet.

David Neal, Managing Director of Connect Plus Services, said: “We are delighted to have worked with Balfour Beatty Plant and Fleet to develop this innovative piece of equipment. In 2018 we collected over 50,000 bags of litter from the M25 and its surrounding roads, which requires extensive resource and expert planning to ensure the network remains clean and clear, with minimal impact on the travelling public.

“The M25 is one of the busiest and most strategic road networks in the UK. Through continuous innovation, we can reduce the time our highways maintenance teams spend litter picking on live highways networks, as we strive to create the safest working environment and better journeys for all.”

Andy Ormerod, Managing Director of Balfour Beatty’s Plant and Fleet Services business, said: “With health and safety at the heart of everything we do, we are pleased to have been able to provide an innovative solution to our workforce which reduces risk and increases productivity.

“Our expert capabilities have allowed us to design and build a state-of-the-art piece of equipment, taking into consideration challenges currently being faced by those working on highways projects. Embedding innovation into our projects allows us to offer a solution focused outcome for our clients.”

Nicola Bell, Highways England South East regional director, said: “Hundreds of thousands of people use the M25 each day, and litter is a real problem. This innovative vehicle will help roadworkers to clear litter much more quickly than picking it by hand, and will also free up time for other maintenance and safety priorities – and also our work together with Connect Plus to encourage people not to drop litter in the first place.

“Litter on roads can cause a hazard to drivers, our workers and wildlife, so I’d urge everyone to keep a bag in their car which they can use for rubbish, and then put it in the bin when they get home to improve the experience of everyone who drives on or lives near the M25.”

With safety a key priority, litter picking crews will receive in-depth training to use the machine and measures will be taken to ensure a safe environment when in action.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

HELMA 2019 - CPS continues to drive business efficiencies

Connect Plus Services (M25) recently completed its annual two-day Highways England Lean Maturity Assessment (known as HELMA), where organisations in the Highways England supply chain can determine the extent to which they have introduced, adopted and grown the use of lean principles, methodologies, tools and techniques.

Highways England review 10 topic areas and score each of them for the lean maturity of the business using a score of up to 4. Connect Plus Services has continued its year-on-year improvement since first taking part in the assessment back in 2016 – now scoring 3.1 out of 4.

The business has made continual and steady progress and, during the assessment, Highways England offered positive feedback on several areas of continued good practice and offered guidance on potential areas for focus going forward.

Matt Stedman, Business Efficiency Manager at Connect Plus Services, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded a score of 3.1, which showcases the progress we have made in a relatively short period of time. This assessment has provided us with both positive feedback and a renewed focus on what we need to achieve in the coming months to keep up the momentum.

“Operating as a lean business is a core focus and by using ‘lean’ tools and techniques we can really drive business efficiencies to operate and maintain the M25 network to the highest standard.”

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Transforming The Future

As part of International Women in Engineering Day, the global awareness campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering, Connect Plus Services visited the Leigh UTC and Wilmington Academy, in Dartford.

International Women in Engineering Day takes place annually on 23 June and the theme for 2019 is #TransformTheFuture.

With this in mind, Abbey Featherstone (Business Improvement Lead) and Alana Murphy (Leatherhead Operations and Maintenance Manager), from CPS, and Priya Janda (Assistant Project Accountant), from Balfour Beatty, visited both schools to speak to groups of female students about the different roles women can play in our industry and how a truly diverse workforce can transform the future.

Alana said: “It’s so important to engage with young people and promote opportunities that they may have never known existed. They don’t even need to be an engineer to be part of a team making things happen in an engineering world.”

By sharing their experience, they were able to enable the pupils to make more informed decisions about which career path they may want to take.

Priya said: “This is in an effort to change perceptions and encourage young women to also consider engineering as a viable and rewarding career.”

After the group presentation, there was a chance for the students to have some informal networking conversations with Abbey, Alana and Priya, showing the students that it is important to find the right fit for them.

Abbey said: “I love construction, I love everything about the built environment and engineering. In our industry, there are so many opportunities that women don’t realise they can do. It is time to shout about it.”

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Dartford tunnel sees its longest ever load

The Dartford tunnel saw its longest ever free-flow load pass through it recently when it was used to transport an enormous 41-metre-long footbridge.

The footbridge, destined for Southend in Essex, was the length of nearly five double decker buses. It was moved in a carefully planned operation between Highways England, Essex Police and Connect Plus Services in a way that meant traffic at the crossing only needed to be held for three minutes.

The strategic road network is often used for transporting oversized cargoes. At 41 metres, the footbridge is the longest load ever to go through the Dartford tunnel.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Success for Connect Plus at the Women in Construction and Engineering Awards

Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services (CPS) employees were praised at the Women in Construction and Engineering Awards (WICE) on Tuesday night, with Sofia Athanassiou, Connect Plus Commercial Director, securing Best Woman in Highways.

Mandy Osborne, CPS Scheduler and Chloe Tucknott, CPS Business Development Director, were shortlisted for Best Woman Construction Planner and Best Female Mentor.

The annual awards recognise the most exemplary women within construction and engineering across Europe with an aim of creating role models for those considering a career in these sectors.

Andy Dean, Chief Executive, Connect Plus, said: “We are delighted that the excellent work being undertaken by women across the business was recognised at last night’s WICE Awards. It is vital that as an industry we continue to break down barriers and encourage more women to enter and remain in the sector.

“Sofia’s journey is a prime example of the career opportunities available. Sofia has progressed from Bid Manager to Commercial Director and Executive Director on the Board, all whilst balancing her responsibilities as a working mother and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.”

Chris Till, Managing Director, Connect Plus Services, said: “We are committed to creating a diverse and engaging environment for our people and customers. I hope that by recognising the vital role women have in the highways sector, through awards such as WICE, we can raise the profile of the industry and make it an attractive career choice for all.”

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Dartford ranks amongst the very top-performing sites

Connect Plus Services’ Dartford depot has been awarded a score of 44 (out of 50) by the Considerate Construction Scheme (CCS) following an assessment of its performance against the Code of Considerate Construction.

Any site that registers with the Scheme makes a commitment to meet the minimum requirements of the Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice and when Scheme monitors visit these sites, they assess five Code categories – appearance, community, environment, safety and workforce.

During the visit, the CCS monitor noted that the Dartford depot’s “appearance is consistently excellent with all the appropriate arrangements in place to ensure that a professional industry image is presented at all times.”

Dartford’s focus on the ‘Community’ has increased from ‘Excellent’ to ‘Exceptional’ since the CCS monitor’s last visit. It was highlighted that “there is a particular focus on school and college interaction and support” and that Connect Plus Services has established “effective and sustainable links with their nearest primary and secondary schools.”

This is a great achievement and highlights the efforts of the Dartford team in being a considerate constructor and maintaining the Scheme’s standards.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Connect Plus Services awarded Bronze at the Considerate Constructors Scheme’s National Site Awards

Connect Plus Services announces that, following the Leatherhead depot’s assessment for its performance against the Code of Considerate Construction, it has secured a Bronze award as one of the very best performing sites from across the UK at this year’s prestigious awards at Plaisterers Hall in London.

Alana Murphy, Operations and Maintenance Manager, and Mark Jepson, Shift Manager, represented Connect Plus Services at the Considerate Constructors Scheme’s National Site Awards event which every year recognises those sites registered with the Scheme that have raised the bar for considerate construction.

The Scheme’s monitors visited offices and depots, and used a checklist to confirm a score against each of the five Code categories – appearance, community, environment, safety and workforce.

In its recent report, the Leatherhead depot scored an impressive 44 (of 50), which sees it retain its Performance Beyond Compliance rating.

The monitor noted that respect for the community “continues to be exceptional” and Leatherhead’s engagement with a local primary school “has blossomed into a very valuable community contribution”. It was also highlighted that the workforce is “valued and the standard of care is exceptional”.

Protection for the environment and the depot’s approach to securing all stakeholders’ health and safety were also positively reported.

This is an exceptional achievement and recognises those sites that have made the greatest contribution towards improving the image of construction.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Connect Plus Services continues engagement with local schools

Connect Plus Services (CPS) regularly works with local communities to educate young people on the varied career opportunities available in the engineering industry.

The past month has been no exception, with a number of engagement activities taking place. Emily Catt, CPS Environmental Assistant, visited the Dartford Bridge Primary School to talk to Year 6 pupils about her role and the importance of looking after the environment. The children were particularly curious about wildlife in the area and how CPS protects local species and habitats while work takes place around the network.

Leigh University Technical College also visited CPS’ Dartford depot to learn about Connect Plus Services’ role on the strategic road network. Talks and demonstrations included a focus on the different vehicles needed to carry out work and the ‘over-height’ and ‘over-dimension’ technology used in the tunnels.

In January, Abbey Featherstone, Business Improvement Lead, and Alana Murphy, Operations and Maintenance Manager, visited Therfield School in Leatherhead for their Careers Fair to speak to the pupils about Connect Plus Services, the industry and the opportunities on offer.

Abbey said: “We spoke to many children and most of them were surprised at the number of people working for CPS and the variety of the work we do.”

Working with the next generation is essential in helping to close the construction skills gap. Engaging with local communities also provides the opportunity to build trust and understanding with our neighbours, showcasing the maintenance and operations required to keep the M25 running.

Looking ahead, Connect Plus Service will also be attending the Year 8 Career Options Event at the Wilmington Academy in March.

Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Every year, countless crisp packets end up in landfill sites across the UK.  

Every year, countless crisp packets end up in landfill sites across the UK.  

To put an end to this enormous loss of resources and the unnecessary impact on the environment, The Crisp Packet Recycling Scheme was launched.

On our M25 DBFO project, Connect Plus Services is joining forces with Highways England in the journey to reduce the impact of packaging. 

Crisp packet collection boxes are now in place in different locations across the Dartford depot and any brand of crisp packet is accepted.  

Once collected, the crisp packets are cleaned and shredded to turn them into plastic pellets. These pellets are then transformed into park benches, plant pots, watering cans and cool bags.

The collaborative work between Connect Plus Services and Highways England in supporting the recycling solution for crisp packets has started in January 2019 and, since then, a total of 1,289 crisp packets have been collected.

Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

CPS raises the bar for considerate construction

The Considerate Constructor Scheme (CCS) has awarded Connect Plus Services (CPS) excellent and exceptional scoring against each of the categories – appearance, community, environment, safety and workforce.

The Scheme looks at the measures an organisation has put in place to be more considerate towards local neighbourhoods and the public, the workforce, and the environment.

Following an independent audit at the end of November, the CCS monitor said that “much of the Considerate Constructor Scheme Code is part of the company’s ethos and its working practices”.

A number of initiatives were highlighted in the Considerate Constructors Scheme’s report, which included CPS’s Mental Health First Aid training and the installation of a defibrillator in each depot.

CPS’s corporate social responsibility initiative, Adopt a School, was also recognised following this year’s activities involving our staff and the supply chain. The Culture Club and its goal to promote diversity and inclusion was also praised.

The business’ delivery of the Code of Conduct has seen CPS receive several accolades for “performance beyond compliance” since we first registered in 2009.

Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Give gritters space to work

They have flashing amber beacons, are 2.5 metres wide and are bright orange but last year 12 Highways England gritters were driven into in the south East of England.

Gritters weigh up to 26 tonnes and when they’re spreading salt travel at 40mph. They often travel in the middle lane of a motorway to ensure the right amount of salt is spread to all lanes.

Highways England’s national winter and severe weather leader in the south east Dominic Haydon, said:

“Although the vast majority of people support our gritter drivers by leaving a sensible distance and only passing when it’s safe to do so, we do have occasions when people misjudge the situation and end up colliding with one of our vehicles.

“We have also noticed a growing problem with driver using the hard shoulder to undertake gritters, risking a collision with stationary vehicles on the hardshoulder and causing a hazard to gritter drivers who need to exit at motorway junctions.

“During severe weather it’s really important that we keep traffic moving and our gritters are out on the network enabling us to do that.”

The back of a gritter is the most vulnerable area as it’s where the salt spreading equipment is located. If it’s struck it can mean the gritter has to be taken off the road to be repaired, which is costly and could affect critical services in extreme weather condition

Dominic added:

“We are doing what we can to improve the visibility of our fleet and we are rolling out a number of new vehicles, starting last month in East Anglia, which include a large rear chevron panel which will improve the visibility.”

Gritter drivers often feel vulnerable while out on the network due to the reduced speeds of 30 and 40mph that they have to travel. In the south east there were 12 incidents where people crashed into our gritters which meant they had to be taken off the roads to be repaired.

Richard O’Keeffe, Service Delivery Manager at Connect Plus Services, said:

“Our fleet of gritters stand ready to treat the M25 strategic road network and keep traffic moving safely if severe weather strikes. We rely on the goodwill of motorists to give our maintenance crews the space they need to work, and remind people to pass gritters safely if you see them on the road.”

During severe weather drivers are urged to follow this advice:
• In snow and ice, drivers should stick to the main roads where they can and only travel if necessary
– drivers are also encouraged to make sure they have a winter kit in their vehicle, including an ice scraper and de-icer, warm clothes and blankets and sunglasses to cope with the low winter sun.
• In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes, so drivers should slow down and avoid using exposed sections of road if possible
• In heavy rain, drivers should keep well back from the vehicle in front, gradually ease off the accelerator if the steering becomes unresponsive, and slow down if the rain and spray from vehicles makes it difficult to see and be seen
• In fog, drivers should switch on their fog lights and not use lights on full beam as the fog will reflect the light back. If you really cannot see, you should consider stopping until it is safe to continue

Drivers are advised to follow messages on the overhead signs and listen to radio updates. Further information can be found by visiting the www.highways.gov.uk/traffic or calling the Highways England Information Line on 0300 123 5000.

Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Written by Robert Haddow, North West Operations and Maintenance Manager.

“The date was 8th August 2005, I was an 18-year-old on Platform 1, Poole Train Station, waiting to get the next train to Lichfield, Staffordshire, to start a career in the military. Since leaving school, I had worked a few jobs but nothing really appealed to me – I wanted a challenge. My dad had recently finished a very successful 24 years’ service in the Royal Marines, so I decided to join up myself.

It was something that appealed to me as soon as I made a few enquiries and chose to enlist within the Corps of Royal Engineers to acquire trade qualifications. I thought I would do the minimum of 4 years and leave with a trade, however ended up leaving after 13 years with all the qualities to build on my success.

After finishing my training and trade requirements I immediately put myself forward for the All Arms Commando Course to earn the right to wear the coveted ‘Green Beret’ and serve within Commando Forces. I passed my Commando Course, and in the process developed the attitude and outlook that would stand me in good stead for the rest of my career and life.

The next 10 years took me around the globe, ranging from an Operational tour of Afghanistan, the sub-zero climates of the Arctic Circle, and the jungles of Malaysia to name a few. I also had the fantastic opportunity to work with Special Forces in both Africa and South America during this time. The experience I gained has been paramount in my development as Commander, enabling me to think strategically while managing teams and crisis situations in a variety of different environments.

The last two years of my military career was spent as an Instructor at the Royal Engineer Boat School. I was extremely fortunate that I had a good management team that continuously challenged and developed me as a Senior Manager while helping me realise my potential. I was given several high-profile assignments, most notably incorporating new training models which drove expenditure savings that will have a lasting effect on the school for years to come.

So why leave then, you’re probably asking? My priorities have changed in the last two years of service; I met my wife Emma and am pleased to say we are expecting our first children… twins, in the near future. We have settled in Essex and I no longer want to spend 6 months of the year away from family, therefore I put in my Notice to Terminate my contract.

In the months that followed I was assigned various courses and workshops with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP). The CTP is the official provider for Armed Forces personnel going through resettlement. They offer career transition advice and training opportunities while giving every Armed Forces leaver resettlement support. All courses are free and this is truly a fantastic organisation that every Service leaver should take advantage of. The biggest advice that I took away from these opportunities was to ‘never undersell yourself’.

The CTP also organises job fairs across the country which is a great opportunity for Service leavers to network with potential employers and to find out about different sectors. This is where I first came into contact with Balfour Beatty, who would become my employer. Balfour Beatty signed the Armed Forces covenant in 2015 and are a forces-friendly employer. They really understand the transferable skills we can bring to the construction sector, offering employment opportunities for Service leavers and veterans. I spoke with Balfour Beatty’s representative and sent them my CV.

A couple of weeks later I was contacted by Connect Plus Services, of which Balfour Beatty is a parent company, and asked if I was available for an interview. Connect Plus Services (CPS) operates and maintains the M25 network, including all adjoining trunk and slip roads on behalf of Highways England and Connect Plus.

After two successful interviews and delivering a presentation, I was offered a position as Operations and Maintenance Manager, which I immediately accepted. I have been very much welcomed into the Balfour Beatty and CPS organisations, have already been on numerous training courses to enhance my learning and have been given a development plan which has a clear timeline to coincide with promotional opportunities. I really could not have asked for a better first couple of months.

I wanted to share my story, as I know how difficult ‘the jump’ can be back into the civilian sector. Every member of the Armed Forces offers so much to civilian employers, and the Career Transition Partnership provides great support and advice while making the transition. They help and assist you along the way while organising many Job Fairs with civilian employers who recruit Service leavers.

Connect Plus Services and Balfour Beatty actively seek to recruit service leavers as they know the skill set and work ethic that we can provide. Balfour Beatty has a vibrant ex-Forces community and the company are keen to receive applications of personnel who are in their resettlement phase.

If you’re interested in joining the team that keeps the M25 moving, contact enquiries@connectplusm25.co.uk

Connect Plus Services trials hydrogen car on M25 network

Connect Plus Services (CPS), the company which operates and maintains the M25 on behalf of Highways England and Connect Plus, the M25’s design, build, finance and operations consortium comprising Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK, has teamed up with Toyota to trial a hydrogen fuel-cell car on the M25 network.

Utilising the expertise of Balfour Beatty’s Plant and Fleet business, who arranged temporary procurement of the vehicle, a Toyota Mirai, CPS has successfully trialled the world’s first commercially produced hydrogen-powered vehicle to operate on a live highways maintenance network. The vehicle carried out daily motorway safety inspections during a two week trial that took place in September.

The trial results will now be assessed and, if positive, it is envisioned that CPS will roll out the use of hydrogen-fuel vehicles across its fleet of 12 cars that carry out motorway safety inspections on the strategic road network.

Fuel-cell technology in vehicles converts pressurised hydrogen gas, stored in built-in tanks, into energy that powers an electric motor.

The only waste product is water, providing significant benefits for the environment and road user’s wellbeing when compared to the environmental footprint left by petrol and diesel fueled cars. The use of a hydrogen car also offers savings in reduced fuel costs.

Brian Johns, Managing Director of Connect Plus Services, said: “We are delighted to have trialled the hydrogen powered Toyota Mirai on our network. This is a prime example of how we are embracing new technology to deliver our contract to the highest standard.

“Through continuous innovation, we are committed to developing cost effective and environmentally friendly solutions to drive the network forward and create better journeys for the travelling public.”

Jon Hunt, Manager of Alternative Fuels at Toyota, added: “We are delighted to support this trial to demonstrate that the Mirai, with a quick refill time and long range is a no-compromise zero emission solution.”

Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

CPS in Bloom

CPS in Bloom took place at a number of schools around our M25 network – including West Ashtead Primary School in Leatherhead, Holy Cross Primary School in Thurrock, and The Dartford Bridge Primary School in Dartford.

Each school received a £200 voucher from us so they could purchase garden equipment and anything else they wanted for the planting area. Volunteers visited the schools to brighten up their play areas by planting flowers and vegetables for the children to enjoy.

Leatherhead – In celebration of a young 7-year-old pupil whose life was tragically ended prematurely due to cancer, CPS has been involved in building a pond in the school grounds. Volunteers were then invited to come back and assist the parents association with weeding and planting around the pond.

Thurrock – The Holy Cross Primary School is in a deprived area and currently classed as having the highest obesity rate in the borough. The school was keen to educate the children about healthy eating and felt that showing children the complete process from planting to plate would support their understanding. With this in mind, we offered to assist with weeding and planting vegetables around the school’s grounds.

Dartford – We visited the Dartford Bridge Primary School and began by clearing allotments that were filled with weeds. While doing this, we found three small frogs and the children happily took them to the school pond. The allotments were then filled with manure and compost, and flowers and vegetable seeds were planted.

Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

#RaisingTheBar and inspiring more girls into engineering

Connect Plus Services is celebrating this year’s International Women in Engineering Day with a variety of activities taking place across the business.

The annual national awareness day provides the opportunity for businesses to celebrate their year-round commitment to raising the profile of women in engineering and the career opportunities available in the sector.

Today saw three inspirational women from Connect Plus Services join forces with Longfield Academy, in Kent, to engage the next generation of women as they begin to make important decisions on their future career paths.

Hooi Lee, Senior Structures Engineer, Kelly Butterworth, Planner, and Cintia Bailey, Communications Business Partner, discussed their route into the industry, explained the importance of having a diverse workforce, and opened the floor to questions.

The young women were particularly interested to understand more about the PPE requirements and a typical day in the life of an engineer.

Activities will continue across the business over the coming days as Connect Plus Services continues to engage and inspire the workforce.

Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Network excellence – Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS)

When the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) visits one of our depots, the monitor assesses our commitment to the Code of Considerate Conduct, specifically the areas of Appearance, Community, Environment, Safety and Workforce.

In March, CCS re-visited Swanley and Denham and, once again, both depots received excellent and exceptional scores.

In Swanley, the monitor noted that there is a consistent commitment to engage the entire workforce in social activities and to promote both safety and environmental practices. "This level of commitment demonstrates the all-embracing support given towards considerate practice".

In Denham, it was reported that the depot is complying with the very highest standards of industry good practice and aims of the scheme. "The comprehensive and well-maintained welfare facilities remain in place; they continue to be well stocked and almost sparkle".

Well done to the teams for your efforts in improving the image of construction.

Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

International Women’s Day

We were so pleased to host another incredible International Women’s Day in some of our depots. And for a good cause too!

CPS celebrated International Women’s Day with lunch, following a callout to help support Reigate and Banstead Women’s Aid with donations.

It was great to see our staff coming to learn more about Diversity & Inclusion and for taking the time to understand the work they do at the refuge centre.

It is not just a women’s issue but a human rights issue.

It is not just a women’s issue but a human rights issue.

Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

1 million hours – and a Blue Star

Last week was a very challenging week but also a very positive one. We achieved the 1 million hour mark – both RIDDOR and lost time injury FREE.

A Blue Star is given when exceptional performance is highlighted by an independent Health & Safety inspection.

This is a major achievement and testament to the emphasis that the M25 DBFO and its supply chain partners place on Health and Safety, and also the hard work of everyone within the business to ensure a safe working environment as they strive to achieve Zero Harm.

Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

“Exceptional level of respect is shown to the community” at Dartford

Dartford Depot welcomed monitor Diana from the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) at the end of January to assess five key performance areas: Appearance, Community, Environment, Safety and Workforce.

In this CCS third visit, Diana was pleased to announce that “it is great to see this project performing to such a high standard” with continued performance levels of two ‘excellent’ and three ‘exceptional’.

It was also noted that the “arrangements in place to secure everyone’s safety are exceptional”  along with our “appearance of being an excellent standard, with a very positive first impression created, and an exceptional level of respect is shown to the community”.

Well done to Matt and all the team at Dartford for maintaining our CCS standards.

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

“Exceptional” safety culture and welfare facilities at Blunts Farm

Our Blunts Farm depot welcomed back the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) monitor last week. During this visit, it was noted that the site promotes an “exceptional image of the industry with a well-presented workplace”.
Scoring us against the latest checklist, the monitor said that environmental performance is managed to an “excellent level” and an exceptional safety culture is “evident”.

Well done Carl and our Blunts team for maintaining your brilliant score.

(Any site that registers with the Scheme makes a commitment to meet the minimum requirements of the Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice in these categories: appearance, community, environment, safety and workforce)
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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25

Leatherhead “continues to impress”

Leatherhead welcomed back Considerate Constructor Scheme monitor Paul in December, for his seventh visit to the Surrey-based depot.

In a recent report, Paul scored the depot an impressive 43 (of 50), which sees Leatherhead retain its Performance Beyond Compliance rating.

As always, the depot was assessed for its performance against the Code of Considerate Construction: Care about Appearance; Respect the Community; Protect the Environment; Secure everyone’s Safety and; Value their Workforce.

A score of eight demonstrates performing to an excellent standard well beyond the minimum requirements of the Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice.

Leatherhead has scored eight in both Appearance and Workforce category, with the monitor noting how the business promotes “a positive industry image” through its unobtrusive appearance and social media presence and commending the approach to supporting an increasingly diverse workforce.

A score of nine is awarded when a company is “at the forefront of industry best practice demonstrating the very highest level of achievement far above the minimum standards required by the Scheme’s Code, addressing all applicable areas of the Checklist to the very highest standards.” Leatherhead has achieved this Exceptional score for Environment, Community and Safety, and Paul summarised his visit saying “the depot continues to impress with its thoughtful approach to continually improving performance.”

Depot manager, Alana Murphy, is understandably delighted with her scoring.

“This is the second visit from the Considerate Constructor Scheme that I have hosted, and I’m delighted that the improvements we have made have been recognised. This score is a credit to everyone here at Leatherhead, and from the wider business, who have worked so hard to achieve it.

“Thank you Paul, and the CCS, for your continued support – I look forward to welcoming you back to see the further improvements we will make over the coming months, to demonstrate our commitment to being a considerate constructor.”

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Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
  • For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25