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Could this automated planning tool speed up electrical connections?

A trial led by UK Power Networks has tested an automated planning tool, 1Streetworks software, to streamline the process for planning small power connections.

A trial led by UK Power Networks has tested an automated planning tool, 1Streetworks software, to streamline the process for planning small power connections. 

The initial phase of the trial demonstrated a significant reduction in the time required for surveyors to create streetworks design plans, cutting the average connection time for new or altered power connections by a quarter at approximately 300 roadworks sites in Surrey.

The software, developed by Cambridge-based company 1Spatial plc, aims to simplify the traditionally labour-intensive process of streetworks planning. By allowing surveyors to quickly assess sites and generate traffic management plans, the software has shown potential in reducing planning times from hours to minutes, while still adhering to safety, accuracy, and regulatory standards.

The success of the Surrey trial has prompted a broader test in Kent, aiming to assess the tool’s applicability across different work streams within UK Power Networks’ service areas.

1Streetworks operates by enabling users to map out work locations, after which it automatically generates site-specific traffic management plans. This integration of mapping layers allows for rapid approval of traffic management permits by local highway authorities, potentially leading to fewer required modifications.

Paul Dooley, Streetworks Performance Manager at UK Power Networks, commented, “Planning streetworks to the high standards we expect takes time and few have tried to revolutionise the process during my 23 years in the sector. So, I’m excited about the potential of 1Streetworks to streamline complex traffic management plans, enable better communication with customers and highway authorities and improve the speed and accuracy of streetworks plans.

“We are exploring how 1Streetworks can enable effective collaboration with interested parties, reduce delivery times and provide unprecedented levels of consistency, repeatability, speed and efficiency.”

Claire Milverton, CEO of 1Spatial, added, “We are delighted that our innovative 1Streetworks application has delivered such fantastic results for UK Power Networks and its customers. We look forward to working with Paul and the team to roll out the software further across the network over the coming months.”

The trial’s funding came from the lane rental funds of Surrey and Kent, reflecting the support for innovative approaches to improve roadwork planning and execution. Matthew Jezzard, Traffic Manager at Surrey County Council, praised the effectiveness of the 1Streetworks system and the council’s anticipation for its expanded use, underlining the potential for broader application and benefits.

While 1Streetworks may not be applicable to all roadworks scenarios, particularly complex situations like those near roundabouts, it offers the possibility for surveyors to focus on more intricate tasks, thereby enhancing overall efficiency and safety in roadworks planning and execution.

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