Contractors and consultants this week expressed fears that government plans to accelerate construction of road schemes with the use of 24 hour a day working could increase costs.
Contractor Colas operations director Stuart Cordier said that, while the construction industry was capable of working round the clock, there would be drawbacks.
“Speed is not necessarily efficiency,” said Cordier. “It costs you more for 24 hour operations.”
Mott MacDonald transportation director David Tarrant also questioned whether the Highways Agency was set up for such working practises.
“The number one issue is what happens with a departure from standards,” said Tarrant.
He warned that there were no current arrangements to deal with changes to 24 hour operations.
The comments came after transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced his backing for off-site construction, 24 hour working and greater overlapping of design and construction last week.
Four pilot schemes have been identified.
They will trial the new ways of working that, it is hoped, will lead to managed motorways projects delivered in the half the time it normally takes. More complexprojects are expected to be delivered up to 25% quicker.
A Highways Agency spokesman said details about the possibility of increased costs resulting from 24 hour working “needed to be worked up. We need to workwith our supply chain and look at the plans in detail,” he said.