Motorways: Repairs and Maintenance
Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar and Limehouse, Labour)
Stephen Hammond (Wimbledon, Conservative)
In response to a request from the previous Minister for Roads, my hon. Friend Mike Penning, a detailed independent review of the costs and benefits of using Conemaster was carried out by the Highways Agency during late 2011/early 2012. A report has been provided to all interested parties. A copy will be placed in the Libraries of the House.
The Conemaster system is a semi-automatic cone placement and retrieval system produced by Jordan Products Ltd. The purposes of Conemaster are to speed up the placement and removal of traffic cones and to reduce the risk of injury and death to roadworkers by reducing the need for them to set foot on live carriageways during temporary lane closures.
The independent report concluded that the estimated benefits of Conemaster vary from a benefits to costs ratio (BCR) of 0.29 (pessimistic) to 2.06 (central) and 2.69 (optimistic). This information has been provided to all contractors in the supply chain of the Highways Agency.
The success or otherwise of the Jordan Products Ltd machine depends on the business model applied and the safety benefits achievable from its use, as assessed by the competent people within the service providers who manage the HA network on behalf of the Secretary of State. It has always been made clear to Jordan Products Ltd that the Highways Agency cannot get directly involved in supporting the development of Conemaster or mandate the use of the Conemaster on the agency's network.