A tribute - The end of an Era – A-One+ final contract ends on Area 12
This week marks the end of an era as one of the last ASC contracts Area 12 comes to an end and with it also the dissolvement of the A-One+ joint venture.
Kevin Robinson, CEO of Safer Highways, pays tribute to the work of the organisations who formed the joint venture and also reflects upon the legacy the organisation leaves behind.
A-One+ for me holds a special place in my heart for a number of reasons; but chiefly the people involved in delivering the contract over the years.
From its early days in area 7 – which then became the first National Highways Asset Delivery framework right through to the involvement I had with it in areas 12 and 4.
At the time of its inception a JV of what was, ultimately, Costain, Colas and CH2M (latterly Jacobs) was pretty ground-breaking in its approach to service delivery in how it procured works and also its approach to fostering a supply chain community, something which has been adopted on many other contracts in various forms, not least the A14 IDT, a programme long held up as a shining success of RIS 1.
However, my affinity goes far beyond and indeed before that, and indeed stretches right back to 2011, when the Area 14 contract decided that enough was enough with regard to the issues of incursions and more importantly roadworker abuse.
The team at A-One+ were the first contractor across the whole of the supply chain to say enough is enough and attempt to stem the tide, effectively putting our people first and indeed putting their money where their mouth is with a far-reaching radio campaign.
Ten years later this formed the basis of our industry-wide Stamp it Out programme, but without the vision and courage of those at A-One+ to say enough is enough would we have had the traction we have?
Over the years, the management team went where others feared to tread epitomised by the “No Strikes IPV” programme in 2015 delivered with the Road Hauliers Association, which aimed to educate HGV drivers around the risks associated with incursions and IPV strikes, yet another bold move.
Following this, and in the burgeoning years of Safer Highways, A-One+ were the sponsors of our theatre at our breakout conference at Highways UK back in 2017, delivering valuable learning and best practice for all.
Even as the contract came to an end the organisation put its people first, epitomised by its service strikes video, where despite an incident which could potentially caused loss of life, they came out on the front foot and delivered a truly impactful video designed with the aim of making its people think about safe digging and the risks associated.
This organisation has driven standards and pushed the boundaries.
On a personal level I have made many good friends, who despite moving on remain so.
But despite scattering across our industry into other organisations, I feel the legacy of A-One+ will live on through the amazing people it employed whether they now find a home at National Highways, Tier 1,2,3 contractors or indeed in other sectors through the culture this organisation fostered.
Thank you Clive Leadbetter, Andrew Sharp, Doug Coutts, Brian Statham, Richard Street, David Townsend, Phillip Beaumont and Debra Thurley.
A-One+ thank you and good night