Britpave: The British In-Situ Concrete Paving Association

Soil stabilisation gets a first from Highways Agency

In a potential first for the Highways Agency, Britpave, the infrastructure industry trade association, is to be given responsibility for the updating and revision of one of its key guidance documents.

If guidance documents are to have the necessary authority then they must be kept abreast of new thinking and current industry developments. The Highways Agency has determined that the people best placed to ensure this are those who implement its documents. Accordingly, recognising the practical experience and expertise of the soil stabilisation contractor members of Britpave, the Agency is proposing to pass future responsibility for maintenance and development of ‘HA74 Treatment of Fill and Capping Materials using either Lime or Cement or Both’ to the Britpave Soil Stabilisation Task Group. The Advice Note, which forms part of the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges, provides guidance on the use of lime and cement to stabilise capping materials for highway works and slope repairs. It covers site investigation, design and construction.

“This is an important step for the Highways Agency”, explained Alex Kidd, Geotechnical Team Leader at the Highways Agency. “In accordance with our recently published Technical Standards Strategy, we recognise that practitioners are often best placed to ensure the current validity of guidance documents and we wish to encourage industry to development and potentially own the guidance required to deliver HA needs. This is thought to be a the first time that the Agency has given responsibility for one of its Advice Notes to an outside organisation and we are confident that it is in line with our strategic objectives.”

The role of guardian for the HA74 has been warmly embraced by the Britpave Soil Stabilisation Task Group as Al McDermid, Task Group Chairman, explained: “Members of the Task Group include both clients and contractors. Between them they have wealth of practical experience. They have taken on the role of HA74 guardian with enthusiasm. Indeed, they are already working on a complete revision and update of the Advice Note.”

The move to hand responsibility to Britpave has been assisted by the close working relationship that Britpave has with the Highways Agency. Indeed, Alex Kidd is himself a member of the Task Group. This means that the Agency will continue to be kept fully in the loop of proposed changes and recommendations. It also means that the relevant industry sector is kept fully informed with respect to the latest best practice recommendations.

“Advice Notes such as HA74 are meant to be practical guidance documents. It therefore makes sense that those with practical, hands-on experience are the ones ensuring that the guidance is kept fully up-to-date with current best industry practice”, said McDermid.

For further information on the Britpave Soil Stabilisation Task Group visit: http://www.britpave.org.uk/DefaultSoilStab.ink