Arcadis, Deloitte and Sweco to support Brussels ring road redevelopment

01 March 2017 Consultancy.uk

In a bid to improve traffic flows around Brussels, as well as offer addition transportation options, the Flemish Region has commissioned Arcadis and Sweco to complete the design for the redevelopment plans for the northern part of the road. Deloitte has been appointed the tax and financing partner for the €3 million per annum project.

Part of the ring road around Brussels has been slated for a comprehensive upgrade, with the Flemish regional government drawing up redevelopment plans for the road in 2016, which included a separation of traffic flows.

Government officials working on the project recently announced that they have called in consultancy and design firms Arcadis and Sweco, as the consortium ‘MoVeR0’, to further develop the concept design for the plans. The work will see the firms analyse the latest known traffic statistics, develop detailed technical plans, and consult local stakeholders.

Arcadis and Sweco win Brussel  ring road redevelopment contract

The firms' work will affect the northern part of the road, located between the two connections with the E40. The aim of the redevelopment is an upgrade of infrastructure to smooth traffic flows in and around Brussels, for which the consortium will focus on separating the main carriageway away from parallel lanes – to better avoid ‘weaving manoeuvres’ on the road. In addition, the work creates additional public and bicycle options (through tunnels among others) in the region, improving the wider sustainable potential of the city’s key transport infrastructure, as well as adding additions connection of the capital’s suburbs to the centre.

The contract will see the firms join forces to deliver, among others, traffic research, technical plans, process management, advice on tendering, stakeholder management, and communication. The contract is estimated to be worth €3 million annually. Deloitte has been named the tax and financing partner for the project.

Flemish Minister for Mobility and Public Works, Ben Weyts says, “I am investing in this project to make traffic smoother and safer. Where it isn’t moving fast enough, we have to act intelligently. The investments in the redevelopment of the Brussels ring road will immediately be a lever for the Flemish economy.”

Luc Hellemans, CEO of Arcadis Europe South (Belgium, France, Italy and Spain), adds, “Our combination of expertise and capacity were the deciding factors for the acceptation of our proposal. The approach of Arcadis and Sweco guarantees the Flemish government support and quality throughout the entire process. What we offer is the continuous availability of a multidisciplinary team that will work closely with the client. This is also necessary for such a project, which hinges on close coordination with other mobility policies, existing projects, the environment, and the concerns of stakeholders. A project of this scale simply requires extra manpower and expertise.”

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How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

11 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Amey Consulting has leveraged data insights to assist Network Rail with the improvement of its South-Eastern route. Using the Quartz tool, which monitors train movement, Network Rail will now be able to commit to data-enabled interventions to quickly improve underperforming train stations.

With rail services in the UK coming under strain from the demands of modern commuter life, while the infrastructure and service delivery of the nation’s railways has come in for sustained criticism in recent years, a period of regeneration is on the cards at last. Network Rail is the owner and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in Great Britain, and has subsequently tapped the consulting industry on a regular basis to help find areas of improvement.

The group recently drafted in consultancy BearingPoint to conduct a thorough organisational evaluation and advise Network Rail (High Speed) on attaining a ‘fit for purpose’ organisational standard – for which the consultancy was nominated at the 2019 MCA Awards. Meanwhile, ArupArcadis and Aecom have been contracted to help Colas Rail and Babcock Rail implement a decade-long framework for Network Rail, aimed at supporting the delivery of the next generation of rail systems, with the contracts said to be worth as much as £5 billion

How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

As Network Rail further aims to improve its performance and customer service offering, another area it has sought help from the consulting sector for is its South-East route. The network of railways connects London with the southern parts of the country, as well as with Europe, making it the busiest in the country, with more than 500 million passenger journeys per year. This crucial expanse of rail was plagued with small minute delays, which were impacting millions of passengers every day, while reducing the efficiency and capacity of the overall network – something Amey Consulting was selected to help solve.

Amey Consulting soon determined that with the sub-threshold delays to services only lasting for 1 or 2 minutes, most were not the subject of detailed root cause analysis, and this made their corrections almost impossible – with dire consequences. Without addressing these delays, passenger satisfaction would fall, while the capacity and efficiency of the network would be reduced, stinging the income of Network Rail even before a host of delay-related fines would hit the company.

In order to help the client gain a better understanding of where, how, when and what these small delays occur, Amey Consulting looked to demonstrate the value of data-led consulting, with a significant reduction in delays within the first month of rolling out changes to key stations. The consultants embedded themselves in Network Rail’s team, helping them learn the key skills needed to support and apply data-driven solutions.

Agile transport

This involved the deployment of the Quartz tool. The system utilises to-the-second train movement data to present the performance of individual stations across the South-East route. It allows users to effortlessly understand station performance with a high level of detail, and use this information to identify losses caused by small-minute delays. The granular data allows for targeted actions to drive efficiency savings and performance improvements. More importantly, it allows users to understand the impact of small process changes on performance. 

Steve Dyke, an Executive Partner at Amey Consulting, said of the project, “We looked to identify the physical root cause on the infrastructure, building a case for change then managing that project implementation and tracking the benefit/value.  In doing so we are working to define a data performance improvement service to the operational and infrastructure owners.”

Just as important for the project as the technology, however, was teaching the Network Rail team how to leverage it after the consultants were gone. The Amey Consulting team worked to develop an agile working culture within Network Rail’s South-East division, helping staff to be confident in using data to improve the journeys of millions of people per year by attacking the problem from the ground up.

Dyke concluded, “This is less about the tools and about the approach to managing performance.  It meant using by-the-second analysis, data science, and then agile development to visualise and identify areas where improvements can be made.  We then worked with NR to change the way they approached the management of the infrastructure changes.  So rather than pass the information down the value chain, any of which could have been missed, we managed the change end-to-end.”

The project was so successful that Amey Consulting was also among those honoured at the recent MCA Awards. The firm scooped the Performance Improvement in the Public Sector prize for its work with Network Rail, at the 2019 ceremony in London.