VGC team members working on paving in Windsor
Start
April 2017
End
March 2022
Client
VolkerHighways
Location
Berkshire

As a trusted contractor, VGC has undertaken a number of projects for VolkerHighways, of which works in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead are among the most high profile.

When the royal wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle was announced, planned maintenance around Windsor was brought forward. Our teams smoothed the natural and artificial stone paving on all the routes to Windsor Castle to avoid trip hazards.

VGC team members by Windsor Castle
VGC team members pose beside Windsor castle – Costantin Grigoras, Daniel Taran, Samuel Yick and Catlin Hapau

They upgraded junctions and installed traffic calming measures, including renewing tactile paving at junctions for people who are partially sighted.

In Maidenhead, our teams are upgrading the public realm near the station.

The works are in preparation for the Elizabeth line and form part of the area’s regeneration.

We have removed existing tarmac paving and replaced it with granite paving slabs, and tactile units where appropriate. We have also carried out landscaping work, including recreating the base of the clock tower and upgrading the nearby planter.

In Eton, our teams carried out

  • footpath resurfacing
  • drainage, ducting and manholes
  • upgrading traffic signals
  • landscaping, kerb laying and paving

Hostile vehicle measures

Hostile vehicle barrier in Windsor
Hostile vehicle barrier in Windsor

In Windsor, our teams built the footings for hostile vehicle measures – gates which can swing shut if necessary. The requirement was for something that looks decorative but is almost impossible to drive through. We dug deep foundations under the footway and reinstated seamlessly. A single slab was left loose for the gate installation, and then fixed in place once the gate contractor had installed the superstructure.

Keeping everyone safe

Throughout our works, we carefully manage the interface with local residents and the public. Our work often involves pedestrian diversions and closure of traffic lanes, which risks frustrating local people. Our effective planning and sensitive liaison with local residents and businesses mean we cause minimal disruption. We use fencing and signage to ensure people understand and follow the safest routes around the worksites.

Unfortunately we often come across services which have not been installed to industry standards. Additions and ad hoc repairs to cables and utilities mean that services are not always located as charted, or installed at the correct depth. Consequently, drawings are out of date, and this considerably increases the risk of cable strikes. We have invested in the latest developments in digital cable avoidance technology to mitigate these risks. In addition, we run a stringent permit-to-break-ground system, including daily checklists and daily reviews to keep the risks to the minimum.

Commendations

After the May 2018 royal wedding, the traffic systems engineer for the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead thanked us for “doing a top job out there – you’ve been really helpful.”

Vasile and Daniel working outside O'Neill's pub in Maidenhead
Vasile (L) and Daniel working outside O’Neill’s pub in Maidenhead

In November 2019, the council’s senior commissioning officer emailed: “Following a walk around on site this morning I want to compliment VGC on their service cover reinstate outside O’Neill’s pub. It is very well done, nicely lined up and cut perfectly.”

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead awarded VolkerHighways a £5.5 million per year highways term management and maintenance contract in February 2017.

The contract, managed by framework manager Jarlath O’Hara and site agent Mark Mullan, includes planned, reactive and emergency response maintenance, winter maintenance, gully cleansing and small highways schemes.