Horizons Helps Brent Target Potholes
Visualised asset management software enables local authority to prioritise sites based on pothole density and reduce backlog
Brent Council has adopted a highway asset management software solution from technology company, Yotta, to help tackle the borough’s most problematic potholes. In line with its commitment to improve the quality of local roads, Yotta’s asset management software will enhance both decision-making capabilities and public safety.
Through asset and condition data capture, the council is using Yotta’s Horizons platform to provide it with much-needed operational insights for patching maintenance programmes. The decision to use Horizons for this work follows the signing of a four-year deal, also including an annual consultancy package, between the two organisations in October 2016, and highlights Brent’s ongoing commitment both to Yotta and to Yotta’s Infrastructure Asset Management Consultancy (IAMC) approach.
Due to limited funding, Brent Council is not able to repair all existing potholes across the borough. However, it has been able to use data collected during highway inspections within Horizons, to develop a risk-based approach to inform highways maintenance programmes and efficiently and effectively repair potholes.
This enables Brent to use Horizons to highlight areas across the whole road network where the density and risk associated with potholes is highest and to prioritise the most effective repair locations, working with third party contractors to deploy an innovative injection patching process on side streets and local routes and traditional patching on main roads.
The council is now reaping the rewards. It was able to accelerate the speed and efficiency of the pothole patching process, in addition to quickly cutting the backlog of unfilled potholes, with a minimum level of public complaints, and receiving positive feedback from council members.
“Previously, we tended to rely on our own observations when identifying priority locations for patching programmes,” says Jonathan Westell, Highways Contracts & Delivery Manager, Highways and Infrastructure Service, Brent Council.
“With this new approach, we can use information that we already have about unfilled potholes, in a new way: to direct patching crews effectively to fix the largest number of potholes we can in the shortest possible time, efficiently giving us the fastest possible return on our network maintenance investment.
“Yotta’s supportive and active engagement in working closely with us to resolve issues has also been key to the success of this project,” adds Westell. “They have been fully engaged in this process since the beginning and eager to work closely with us to develop innovative solutions to these kinds of highway maintenance challenges.”
Julian Collins, Principal Consultant – Infrastructure Asset Management, Yotta, says: “This innovative project underlines the capability of Horizons as a tool that allows councils to quickly and easily evaluate data and use the insights gained to deliver enhanced highways asset management efficiencies. We look forward to continuing to work with Brent Council to build on the successes already achieved by the pothole patching programme and exploring new areas where we can work together to achieve asset management efficiencies.”
Looking ahead, both Yotta and Brent Council are already assessing the potential of developing the project further by drilling down deeper into the data stored in Horizons to gauge the predictors of potholes occurring, and what other data could be brought into the process to make it still more efficient.