CYCLOPS is launched at Chorlton Road

Work was completed on Area 1a – Chorlton Road in Manchester last Friday. This innovative scheme is one of the early phases of the £13.4m investment into the Manchester to Chorlton Cycling and Walking route. Chorlton Road forms the most northern section of the route, and connects Brooks Bar junction to the off-road cycle tracks at Chester Road roundabout, which lead into the city centre.

It features an innovative and trail blazing CYCLOPS "Cycle Optimised Protected Signals" junction, at Royce Road and is a UK-first. It is an “orbital cycle route”, designed to fully separate cyclists from motor traffic and providing more space for pedestrians, whilst improving safety for all road users. The junction allows bicycles to approach from four ‘arms’ which converge onto a cycle track that completely encircles the junction. This means that bicycles can make a right turn at the junction, protected from traffic, and can complete the manoeuvre in one movement, dependent on signal timings.

We have achieved 100% recycling on the project as all materials excavated from the Chorlton Road project have been recycled and reused on the nearby Mancunian Way scheme.

A major risk to the project was COVID-19. The UK wide lockdown placed the construction programme under the potential risk of several weeks delay but, due to a collaborative approach with the client, Colas progressed the works under key worker status, and were able to accelerate works during an eight-week period by taking advantage of lower traffic counts on the network.

The North West team are delighted to have received confirmation this week that they have been awarded the next phase of the cycle way development and work on Chorlton Road Phase 1b will begin soon.

COVID-19 positive test process explained

Over recent week’s we’ve been communicating to colleagues about the new way of working once we return to work in our fixed locations, reading about the comprehensive risk and site safety assessments for each and the implementation of the new safety measures such as the two-metre distancing signage, the one-way systems and the stop/go areas.

We’re also aware that each fixed location now has a designated COVID-19 Supervisor (see separate article) and colleagues have also had the opportunity to read our helpful COVID-19 Return to Work Fixed Locations Guide and view our video.

But, as COVID-19 Risk Committee member, Donna Hitchcock, explains, what colleagues may not be fully aware of, is that there is a defined process in place, should one (or more) of our colleagues anywhere in the business test positive for COVID-19?

Find out more Here.

Ministerial visit to Hoima Airport

Despite an enforced two-week stoppage due to COVID-19, phase one of our Hoima International Airport project in Western Uganda, is back up, running and fully-operational.

With the Covid-19 restrictions still disrupting many projects around the country, the Ministry of Works and Transport General Katumba Wamala visited the airport to see first-hand the progress made on site but to also meet some of the 805 workers engaged on the project.

After the mandatory COVID-19 safety checks, including temperature screening and hand sanitising, the Minister was given a brief induction on both site HSE requirements and COVID-19 preventive measures, before donning the appropriate PPE and starting his site visit.

A packed agenda saw the Minister and his delegation which included the Hon. Lokeris Peter Teko, Minister of State – Works, and the Hon. Joy Kabatsi, Minister of State – Transport, as well as members of the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority, updated on all parts of the airport construction including the Runway works, End Safety Zone, the turn pad, apron, cargo terminal building, AGL substation building and taxiway.

Following his site tour, the Minister then met with some of the workers (keeping to the two-metre social distancing requirement) over lunch at the site canteen. He spoke about how well they had adapted and applauded their efforts especially during such challenging circumstance. The Minister was particularly impressed with the high number of female employees (100 out of 805) on site and he was pleased that over 30% of the workforce was actually from the local Bunyoro region.

Commenting on the visit, UK Projects Executive Director, Sean Jeffery expressed his delight with the visit. “It was great to see General Wamala taking time out to visit our Hoima Airport project. Having spoken to the team on site and understanding how hard the situation is all over Uganda, I think his visit gave the project team a much-needed lift.”

Sun Health Campaign

Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t rain every day in England. In general, we have warm summers and cool winters and our summers are cooler than those on the continent. But when the sun does decide to show itself the English public tend to flock to the beaches and parks with little respect to covering skin that has had little if any exposure to the sun in many months. It’s also a well-known fact that more people pay even less regard to their skin while at work.

This disregard for protecting oneself against the strength of the sun is most certainly the reason why skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the world and the reason why from the 1,700 people in Britain who get skin cancer from sun exposure every year, there are sixty deaths.

What’s also staggering, is the fact that getting painful sunburn just once every two years can triple the risk of the deadliest form of skin cancer, malignant melanoma.

Obviously, we don’t want this to happen to any of our colleagues, so as of this week we’re starting a summer campaign to inform and advise our people regarding the dangers of exposure to the sun.

Over the coming months, we’ll provide colleagues with a series of Toolbox Talks (read the first one here), Posters, a video and a quiz along with a number of interviews with colleagues from around the business who tell us their stories in regard to the dangers of the sun.

As ever, all the information provided will also be available on the SHEQ library on Connex and if you are unable to access it then please contact the SHEQ team.

Doncaster School Donation

Our team in Leeds were very happy to hand over a selection of road signs to Carr Lodge Academy School in Doncaster yesterday, so that they can create a realistic cycling and outdoor construction space for their pupils. Ben Shaw visited the school to deliver the signage. Reception teacher Megan Hughes was delighted with their new bike area.

60 Seconds Interview

This week we talk to Basil Frostik who joined Colas in March 2020 as SHEQ Manager for the South.

New Starters

This week Colas is pleased to welcome Alan Richardson to our Surfacing team, Steven Finnigan and Aaron Newall to our Traffic Management team and Ryan Prosser to Regional Operations.

Safety Milestone

Congratulations to our A-one+ colleagues in both Area 12 and Area 4 who having reached an outstanding combined total of 9 million hours RIDDOR or incident free. And the key to their success? A focus on individual behaviour and responsibility and the enabling of their people to address risk before it becomes an incident. Well done everyone!


Did you know we have a Wikipedia page?
Wikipedia is the free online encyclopaedia that anyone can use. It has over 6 million articles on it and Colas Ltd has a dedicated page. We made a few small changes recently and try to keep it up to date – you can check it out here

Return to Work – Fixed Locations

Our Return to Work (Fixed Locations) Guide is full of useful information about the phased return to of staff to our offices and fixed locations and what to expect when you do return. You can also watch our video to see what changes have been made.

In last week’s ONE online, RTW project manager, Tony Delaney, spoke about the establishing of COVID-19 Supervisors in each of our fixed locations. This week, we’ve taken the opportunity to contact five of our Supervisors in locations which are currently open and operating and asked them ‘What is the role of the COVID-19 supervisor in their location?’

Here's what they said.

“There are several things that needed to be carried out initially that were high priority. Firstly, we carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment to ensure there were suitable control measures in place and then we made sure that we had sufficient cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures, in line with Government guidance. We’ve implemented the two-metre social distancing rule on site but there are times in our work where this is not achievable, so we have introduced alternative control measures to ensure compliance. However, I think that the most important part of my role is to promote behavioural change, as without this we cannot sustain compliance moving forward.”
Adam McCormick, Project Manager, Leeds

“My role consists of ensuring the safety of everyone on site and the implementation and monitoring of safe operating procedures. This includes COVID-19 site inductions, briefings and daily temperature checks. I also ensure site COVID-19 rules are being adhered to by all on site, checking site setup, signage, PPE and notification of updates. This is important in ensuring all activities and personnel on site are managed as safely as possible.”
Matthew Penny, Quarry Manager, Carnsew

“In my role as the A46 COVID-19 supervisor, I have reviewed our site accommodation and working practices and implemented measures to convert the site into a COVID-19 safe site. This has included ensuring the COVID-19 Risk Assessment for the site is in place, making sure there is a provision of sanitisation products, promoting working from home where practicable, maximising the opportunity for social distancing, and managing the transmission risk for any works required within two metres.”
Russell Threadgold, Site Agent, A46 Stoneleigh

“I arrive at work around 6.30am, wash my hands and take my own temperature. As my fellow workers arrive, I am responsible for taking their temperatures and making sure they also wash their hands. During the day I walk around the site to ensure that colleagues are keeping to the two-metre social distancing rule and wearing the correct PPE in line with the Government / Colas guidelines. It has been an easy role to take on, as my fellow employees are all very compliant.”
Mark Slaughter, Senior Workshop Supervisor, Ringmer


“As my responsibility as a Production Manager I have been supporting the business continuity and getting the site ready for when more people return to work with new signage including the two-metre social distancing signs on both the office floors and the pavements around the site. I’m also sharing the temperature testing on entry to the site with three fellow colleagues and I’m regularly reminding everyone about the importance of maintaining the social distancing requirement.”
John Ashurst, Production Manager, Warrington


Our People Benefits

Looking for something special. Choose from over 4,500 experiences from supercars to spa days, from hot air balloons to hotel stays and get 20% off. Simply click here. If you have any questions please contact the customer services team

Picture Gallery