Building Briefs – January 9th

James Frew targets continued fleet improvement with Ctrack

James Frew has awarded a five-year contract extension to Ctrack for the provision of an advanced telematics system.

Ctrack Online was initially adopted as part of a wider fleet improvement strategy designed to target a range of efficiency savings, improvements in health and safety, and enhanced duty of care. Following its success, the company will continue using Ctrack Online, combined with a sophisticated driver behaviour solution, across a fleet of 136 vans operated by James Frew’s team of engineers.

James Frew has achieved a wide range of operational savings and safety improvements since using the web-based Ctrack Online vehicle tracking system to monitor driver behaviour and better engage with the mobile engineers. As a result, the company experienced a dramatic drop in fuel usage, as well as reducing road collisions, increasing staff well-being and lowering insurance premiums and maintenance costs.

The tracking solution takes advantage of Ctrack’s in-vehicle Driver Behaviour Indicator (DBI) and Driver League Table Reporting, so James Frew can encourage improved driving styles behind the wheel while historically identifying any underperforming drivers. The DBI provides real-time feedback, alerting drivers to speeding or harsh driving via traffic-light coloured warning lights and audible alerts.

Meanwhile, the reporting tool helps identify the best and worst performing parts of the fleet operation using a simple ranking system, enabling the company to implement a targeted driver training initiative.


Councillors welcome refurbished Dumbarton Municipal Buildings

Provost Hendrie with Diane Docharty and Iain Maclaren with other councilors

Councillors have given the thumbs up to Dumbarton’s newly-refurbished Municipal Buildings following a £1.4 million overhaul.

Work to upgrade the historic, B-listed building in College Street started in 2016 and was carried out in three phases to allow the building to remain open throughout. As well as external improvements to the roof and the building’s exterior fabric being completed, new office space and meeting rooms were created and the Ceremony Room was given an upgrade. The Ceremony Room is now available for weddings and citizenship ceremonies.

The Municipal Buildings is home to around 80 West Dunbartonshire Council staff, including elected members and the Legal and Audit teams. Licensing Enquiries have also moved to the Municipal Buildings, where the Registrars also remain.

The Municipal Buildings overhaul was part of the council’s overall £19m project to move staff into modern, fit for purpose office space across the area and reduce the amount of buildings used by the council. A new Dumbarton town centre office is due to open this year, with the current Garshake Road building to close.

The earlier upgrade work to the council’s Bridge Street office, the improvements at the Municipal Buildings and the upcoming opening of the new Church Street office will see a total of more than 800 council staff based in Dumbarton town centre, helping to regenerate the area.


Atkins names new UK/Europe chief

Atkins has appointed Philip Hoare as chief executive of its UK and Europe region.

Philip Hoare, head of Atkins’ UK and Europe transportation division since 2014, now becomes responsible for leading the consulting engineer’s 10,000-strong team.

SNC-Lavalin acquired WS Atkins in July 2017, leading to the departure of its chief executive Uwe Krueger and the promotion of Nick Roberts to president of Atkins. In the interim, divisional finance director Jamie Sharp will lead Atkins’ UK and Europe transportation business.


Improvement works begin on Dundee - Aberdeen railway

Work is underway on a railway line improvement project between Dundee and Aberdeen.

Engineers have started renewing sections of track, refurbishing bridges and preparing platforms for the arrival of new train fleets as part of the scheme.

Features include the £4 million refurbishment of South Esk Viaduct at Montrose and replacing over a mile of life-expired track on the line between Dundee and Aberdeen. In addition, platforms at Aberdeen station will be altered as part of a £1m project to allow a new fleet of trains to operate in the future.

Works will take place on the following dates; 14, 21, 28 January and 03, 04 February.


Work starts on Broughty Ferry railway station upgrade

Network Rail has started work on a platform improvement project at Broughty Ferry railway station in Dundee.

The scheme will see a 90-metre section of platform one raised and rebuilt ahead of new trains being introduced on the East Coast main line. In addition, the stepping distance from trains calling at the station will be improved for passengers.

Overall, the scheme is one of 10 being delivered across the Highland and East Coast main lines in Scotland.


Borders primary pupils first foot to new school

Mason Blackwood, Angus Hislop, Councillor Euan Robson, Councillor Shona Hislop, Councillor Simon Mountford, Councillor Tom Weatherston, headteacher Michelle Matthews and Councillor Hamilton

Pupils at Broomlands Primary in Kelso have moved into their new £9.7 million school for the first time today.

The school has been completed on time and replaces the former building which was opened in 1980.

Contractors McLaughlin and Harvey began work on the building in October 2016, with the completed school including 12 classrooms, an early years centre, games hall/dining room and upgraded playground.

During the construction of the school, a series of community benefits were achieved including six new jobs for local people, one modern apprenticeship and six activities with local schools, while McLaughlin and Harvey engaged with 14 local groups or projects.

The new Broomlands Primary is part of a series of school improvements being carried out by Scottish Borders Council, with new primaries at Langlee and Duns and a new Kelso High all opening within the last six months.

In addition, there are currently works taking place to create a new support centre for pupils with complex needs at Galashiels Academy and a new nursery at St Boswells Primary School, while the planning application for the new Jedburgh Intergenerational Community Campus was approved this month.


Roadworks to begin in Inverness

Work is to begin on a road improvements project in Inverness.

Contractor Pat Munro will start carrying out roadworks at the junction of Millburn Road and Diriebught Road from today.

The three-week scheme (weather dependant) includes replacing drainage channels and road resurfacing in the junction and central reserve areas.

Temporary traffic lights will be installed to avoid having to close the junction and the lights will be manually operated from 7am to 7pm.


Council completes coastal path upgrade in Lerwick

Shetland Islands Council has completed work to improve a coastal footpath in Lerwick.

The Sletts footpath has been resurfaced with bitmac and widened to around 1.5 metres along most of its 520 metre length. In addition, the west end entrance of the path has been widened to allow wheelchair access and gates have been removed at both ends of the path.

Other works included placing rock-filled baskets on areas of the path to protect it from sea erosion, while a new access point has been created to give easier access to the path for patients at the Gilbert Bain Hospital. NHS Scotland is also planning to install a shelter with seating on the path behind the Lerwick Health Centre.

The final cost of the upgrade is expected to be £82,500, funded by £67,500 from Shetland Community Choices and £15,000 from the council’s Infrastructure Services.

The works were the first-choice project voted for by the public in the Shetland Community Choices project earlier this year.


Planning exhibitions will showcase future potential developments in Moray

A series of exhibitions showcasing future potential housing and business development across Moray will be launched next week.

Nine events will be held in towns and villages, where members of local communities are welcome to come along and speak with planning officers about future possible developments in the region.

Following the launch of the Main Issues Report last month, visitors to the exhibition will be able to explore how Moray Council will use land in the area in the future, including new or expanded infrastructure, schools, health centres and more.

Factors like minimising climate change, balancing the protection of the environment and making space for residents to remain active and healthy citizens, will also be discussed.

All drop-in exhibitions will feature interactive mapping using touch screens, highlighting what development is being proposed in each area. Expansion to the south west of Buckie and east of Forres for housing is being considered. New industrial land is being considered to the south of Elgin, at Waterford in Forres, and to the west of Mosstodloch. More modest expansion is being considered in other towns and villages such as Keith, Fochabers, and Aberlour.

Those who can’t attend the exhibitions can access more information online on Moray Council’s website:

Date and Time Venue
Wednesday 17 January

2 - 8pm

Fleming Hall, Aberlour
Tuesday 23 January

2 - 8pm

Town Hall, Elgin
Wednesday 31 January

2 - 8pm

Fisherman’s Hall, Buckie
Tuesday 6 February

2 - 8pm

Fochabers Institute, Fochabers
Thursday 15 February

2 - 8pm

Town Hall, Lossiemouth
Wednesday 21 February

2 - 8pm

Mortlach Memorial Hall, Dufftown
Thursday 8 March

2 - 8pm

Town Hall, Forres
Tuesday 13 March

2 - 8pm

Longmore Hall, Keith
Saturday 17 March

9.30am - 4pm

St Giles Church, Elgin