Environmental savings in Buckinghamshire and West Berkshire

Huge environmental gains are being achieved across large parts of the Home Counties as MEWS installs hundreds of self illuminating road signs and highly efficient street lights.

MEWS took over the running of a pair of term maintenance contracts in Buckinghamshire and West Berkshire in April 2007, and has taken little time to introduce sustainable lighting systems that reduce a client's carbon footprint.

In Buckinghamshire, the company has been instructed to switch off between 1500 and 2000 streetlights on rural routes, and is installing self illuminated road signs to compensate.

Further highway improvements are being carried out by main contractor VolkerFitzpatrick, which is upgrading white lining and renewing cats eyes for the benefit of motorists. MEWS has a two year term maintenance agreement with VolkerFitzpatrick on behalf of Buckinghamshire County Council and is working alongside client representative Jacobs.

In West Berkshire, MEWS is installing durable aluminium lighting columns with energy efficient luminaries at a series of central locations. New columns have been installed on an approach to a roundabout on the A4 London Road at Newbury, and a similar contract is to take place on the A4 dual carriageway between the villages of Theale and Calcot near Reading. MEWS works directly for West Berkshire Council and carries out around £600,000 of work a year.

A scout is employed to tour each of the county's roads once every 28 days to check for poor or below standard lighting installations. MEWS also carries out electrical cable repairs on behalf of clients with dedicated network supplies.

Both the Buckinghamshire and West Berkshire contracts are handled by MEWS teams that include former employees from Carillion, the former incumbent maintenance contractor in Buckinghamshire. Operations Manager Dave Easton, who looks after both contracts, says: "We employ skilled electricians on both contracts, who are signed up to the Highway Electrical Sector Scheme, a competency programme run by industry body ASLEC. We also provide operatives with ongoing training to do with technical issues and plant."