Vital highway gully cleaning supports winter road safety

Drainage and water utilities specialist Lanes Group plc is carrying out a six-month programme of gully cleaning along main roads in North East Scotland.

The cleaning work is an essential part of a planned and preventative maintenance programme (PPM) to prevent localised flooding which can make roads less safe.

Lanes has been commissioned to carry out the gully cleaning by road maintenance provider BEAR Scotland, on behalf of Transport Scotland.

The programme covers all trunk roads in the North East Scotland highways region and runs from October 2019 to March 2020.

Lanes Area Development Manager Alan Watt said: “The gully cleaning is carried out every year during autumn and winter.

“It’s an essential part of the highways PPM programme to ensure roadside drains do not become blocked preventing the free flow of rainwater.

“Pooling of water on the carriageway is both a road hazard and contributes to traffic congestion. As climate change leads to more volatile weather and more heavy periods of heavy rain, this work is more important than ever.”

The gully cleaning is being carried out at night under traffic management. The capacity Lanes has to carry out road drainage work at night is a major benefit for clients because of reduced impact on road users.

Lanes has committed to empty an average of 110 gully chambers during every shift. Debris sucked up from the highway drains is taken to an authorised waste disposal site.

If highway gullies are not regularly cleaned out, silt and other debris that builds up inside them increases the risk of the pipework being damaged.

It allows plants to grow in gully chambers and sustains roots that find their way into highway drains through cracks and displaced joints.

Over time, this can contribute to major root blockages along many metres of highway drains. It can also cause further cracking and even the collapse of pipes, resulting in the need for more costly repairs.

Lanes Group has a fleet of modern and highly effective specialist vehicles for highway drainage maintenance.

They include recycler jet vac tankers for water jetting and vacuumation that can filter and reuse their water.

This makes them more sustainable and more productive, because they can stay on station for longer without refilling water tanks. This, in turn, reduces their carbon footprint.

Lanes also has ultra-high vacuumation tankers for removing large volumes or wet and dry material, including stones and rubble, from highway culverts.

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