Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Highways work gets more local

Wednesday 23rd April 2014
Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) has changed its operation to work more locally.

The new way of working establishes 15 district delivery teams working out of three depots: the Aylesbury depot covering the north of the county, the Amersham depot covering Chiltern and South Bucks districts, and the Wycombe depot covering Wycombe district.

The changes aim to allow the local community at parish level to work more closely and effectively with their Local Area Technician (LAT) to direct dedicated teams to work on their local priorities.

It also aims to make communication easier and speedier, so that residents know the type of work the crews carry out.

The 15 delivery teams' areas are now aligned to the nine Local Area Technicians' areas. This allows work programmes to be focused more closely in batches on smaller areas in rotation, instead of being done sequentially.

Here's how it works
Each depot will have five dedicated crews: two pothole teams, one area maintenance crew, one road patching crew and one traffic management crew. These crews will work on jobs solely in the district served by their depot.

As well as these crews, there will be two dedicated 'Jetpatching' crews, two footway repair teams and two minor works crews. One of each team will work in the north of the county and one in the south.

The detail - depot by depot
Pothole crews will predominantly focus on repairing CAT1 potholes;Area maintenance crews will work on minor kerbing, sett work, slab laying, replacing broken gulley covers, hedge trimming and minor footpath work. They will also help with two-hour emergencies and 'Stop and Go' traffic signs when required.Patching teams will focus on road surfacing works up to 60 square metres.Traffic management crews will be responsible for preparing lane closures, traffic lights and road closures for TfB’s own crews and supply chain partners.

The detail - north and south teams

The 'Jetpatching' crews work with a purpose-built vehicle that can repair a higher number of potholes at one time, in one place.The footway repair teams will focus on minor repairs that can be done by hand.The minor works crew will work on footway re-construction, drainage work, ditch clearance and other work needing a machine.

Ruth Vigor-Hedderley, Cabinet Member for Transport said: 'This new way of working will mean that each area of the county gets the same attention from us. Although the north of the county is geographically larger, it is more rural with a similar number of roads to the other district areas. This change will mean that our work can be planned more efficiently, with a specific programme for each crew, for each area.'

Following their progress
TfB’s pothole and surfacing work blog is updated every Friday afternoon. Here you can see where the crews have been working each week, and where they will be working the following week.

Calling all bright sparks!

Wednesday 23rd April
Transport for Buckinghamshire is looking for some fresh new faces to join their street lighting team. Apprentice opportunities are available and successful applicants can expect a bright future in a developing industry.

The team maintains 30,000 street lights across the county, providing a 24hr emergency response cover. Advances in street lighting technology mean that the team is at the forefront of the development and installation of innovative equipment and leads the way with high profile projects such as their LED replacement programme, central management systems and CCTV installations.

The new apprentices will be fully trained and equipped for working safely in a highway environment, taking an active role in a range of street lighting activities including maintenance, installation, electrical and civils work. Through a combination of learning on the job and study, they will have the opportunity to achieve a qualification at Level 3 NVQ in street lighting, providing them with a solid foundation and preparing them for future positions within the industry. The team will help you to learn and develop your skills, confidence and experience with likeminded individuals.

If you are interested in applying, you will need to be educated to GCSE level, holding 5 GCSE’s grades A-C including Maths, English, and Science, be physically fit, able to work at height in an outdoor environment, and be prepared for being challenged and inspired every working day.

Please send your CV and a covering letter to:

Chris Hegarty-Swain
Operations Supervisor
Transport for Buckinghamshire
Corrib Industrial Estate
Griffin Lane
HP19 8BP

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Catch the Bus Week - great reasons to try out your local bus service

Thursday 17th April
April 28 to May 4 is 'Catch the Bus Week'. This is a national initiative by Greener Journeys encouraging people to swap at least one single car journey for a bus journey a week. Whether you're travelling to work, college, the shops or just fancy a day out; catching the bus is a great option.

• It's good for the environment. If everyone in the UK swapped just one car trip a month to the bus, it would save 2 million tonnes of CO2 every year!*

• It can save you money. Regular travellers can save more with weekly and monthly tickets. Visit your bus company's website to find out what multi-journey tickets they offer or ask your bus driver.

• It reduces traffic. It improves air quality and reduces congestion in your local area.

• It's good for your stress levels. A study by Greener Journeys shows commuting by bus to be a third less stressful than driving.**

• It's good for days out. Catching the bus is a relaxing way to explore your local area, with many bus companies offering group or family tickets.

Cabinet member for Transportation, Ruth Vigor-Hedderly said "Catch the bus week is a great opportunity to take on the challenge of swapping just one journey to use our excellent bus services. Lots of people will be doing it, so why not join in and give it a go?!"

Representatives from Transport for Buckinghamshire, Arriva and Carousel Buses will be on hand in the Eden Shopping Centre, High Wycombe on Wednesday 30 April 09:30-14:30. Visit the Catch the Bus stall for information, advice, offers, freebies and your chance to win £100 shopping vouchers and some free bus travel.

For more information about bus services in Buckinghamshire, including timetables, maps, the latest changes and a journey planner visit or follow us on Twitter @bucksbuses

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Woodham A41 roundabout works - energy from waste plant access

Wednesday 16th April
Work is continuing on the new A41 roundabout at Woodham, with the next phase due to start on 22 April.
The roundabout is part of the ongoing work for the new access road to the energy from waste plant currently under construction at the Calvert landfill site.
Part of the roundabout has already been built to one side of the A41 and the next phase will allow for completion of the roundabout, pavements and bus layby on the northern side of the existing carriageway. To accommodate this work, 24 hour temporary traffic signals will be used at the site from 22 April for a period of 10-15 weeks.
Work is also nearing completion on the Quainton to Edgcott road, where a new bridge deck has been constructed to carry the new access road. It is hoped that the road beneath the bridge will be surfaced next Thursday/Friday (24/25 April) which will allow the road to be re-opened to traffic the following Monday, approximately two weeks ahead of schedule.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Grass cutting programme launches

Tuesday 8th March
With spring in the air, Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) started its grass cutting programme on the April 7.

Grass cutting takes place during the summer months and is carried out to provide good visibility in order to ensure safety for road users. The programme is split into two parts - urban and rural.
Urban grass cutting refers to verges within 30 and 40 mph speed limit signs. Rotary blade mowers are used for this work. This year, TfB is carrying out this work itself rather than using an outside contractor, allowing cost savings and a more efficient programme. TfB has nine crews with three men in each who work through the season and will carry out six scheduled cuts for urban areas, which is one cut every five weeks.

Rural grass cutting refers to verges between village and town name signs. This year two scheduled cuts including 'rural vision splays' (cutting of grass around road junctions) will be carried out by TfB's contract partner, Robert North.

Cut grass is not routinely collected, but is cleared from footpaths using hand blowers where possible.
Ruth Vigor-Hedderly, Cabinet Member for Transportation said:
"We're pleased to be able to provide the service ourselves, enabling us to make essential cost savings. And more good news - you will also be able to check our progress online."

You can check the progress of TfB's grass cutting programme online

Friday, 4 April 2014

Cycle to swim Easter deal

Friday 4th April Cycle to swim over Easter and participating pools in Buckinghamshire will give you a half-price swimming voucher. The deal has been struck with eight swimming pools by Buckinghamshire County Council’s Sustainability Team. Residents who arrive at their nearest participating pool by bike between Saturday April 5 and April 19 will receive a half price voucher for their next swim. Ruth Vigor-Hedderly, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: 'Cycling and swimming can improve physical and mental health. This is a great way to get fit, stay healthy and save money while having fun with your friends and family.' Participating swimming pools include: Aqua Vale, Park Street, Aylesbury; Chalfont Leisure Centre, Nicol Road, Chalfont St Peter; Chesham Leisure Centre, White Hill, Chesham; Chesham Moor Gym and Swim, Moor Road, Chesham; Chiltern Pools, Chiltern Avenue, Amersham; Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Guttmann Road, Aylesbury; Swan Pool and Leisure Centre, London Road, Buckingham; Thame Leisure Centre, Oxford Road, Thame.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

TfB Think Community

Monday 1st April Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) recently held a successful conference to engage with parishes in the north of the county. Their ‘Think Community’ conference, held at the Oculus in Aylesbury, was well attended by around 50 local councillors and is the first of three similar events to be held across the county. Representatives from parish, town, district and county councils met together to share examples of successful schemes and share advice to help deal with similar issues. Presentations were made on topics chosen by the attendees prior to the conference. Road and footway maintenance and speed management were covered in detail to give attendees a greater insight to the extent of our road network, the work we carry out on footways and how parish projects can help with managing excessive speed. Parishes with successful schemes reported on how they worked with TfB to deliver these projects and encouraged other parishes to investigate further. The role of TfB’s Local Area Technicians (LATs) was highlighted with a short video outlining a day in the life of a LAT to show the councillors the range of work that is undertaken by these hard working officers. Janet Blake, Cabinet Member for Planning and Transport hosted the event and said: “We wanted to make sure we were speaking directly to the community about issues that were important to them. We also wanted to provide a forum for the community leaders so that they could talk directly to the decision makers of Transport for Buckinghamshire and feel that they were being heard. The feedback we have received from parishes has been really positive and we are looking forward to the next two!” The remaining conferences are in the South Bucks and Wycombe areas on April 3 and 10 respectively and are still open for bookings for parish, town, district and county councillors. Please email if you are a councillor and wish to attend.