India has one of the world’s largest road networks. With 1% of the world’s vehicles but almost 11% of all road deaths according to the World Bank, ensuring the safe and efficient management of how these roads are operated is essential to improve the environment for road workers, drivers and nearby communities.
Safeway Concessions, owned by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), had a key strategic goal to improve the road safety culture in its organisation in India. Arup has worked with the organisation to undertake a full review of the governance, operations, and health and safety system of nine toll roads that measure over 650km in two states of India, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.
Our advisory experts utilised the findings from the review to develop a set of recommendations that we helped implement. The measures supported the organisation in improving its operations, maintenance, health and safety processes, policies and systems and are encouraging transformative change to enable a more resilient transport operation on India’s toll road network.
Driving safety in transport
Health and safety principles characterised the analysis and recommendations from the outset. As the work developed with COVID-19 restrictions in place, the team had to quickly look at using technology more effectively. Our people worked in collaboration with our project partners to develop animated videos that reproduced bespoke traffic management scenarios and training procedures for the Indian workforce. The videos acted as powerful tools to implement change and eliminated challenging communication barriers, which helped build trust and enabled the accurate delivery of information from trainer to learner, while navigating important cultural sensitivities.
Our team of experienced former toll road managers worked closely with the client’s project team to understand their day-to-day challenges. With a detailed understanding of our client’s needs, we developed a range of customised solutions such as ‘Train-the trainer’ coaching to identify and mitigate hazards at Toll Plazas. Further, we introduced and piloted a Safety Taskforce that ensured corporate Health and Safety policies were implemented at ground-level. Together these initiatives were instrumental in starting the journey towards a behavioural change in the perception of safety.
Enabling operational efficiencies
The initial review undertaken by our team uncovered opportunities to improve governance and performance management. With important global benchmarks to meet across health, safety, governance, and performance, we worked with the client to develop performance management metrics and provided greater clarity on the procurement strategy.
We developed a bespoke payment mechanism tool that responded to the unique complexities of the concession. Adopting a systematic approach, the mechanism measures the performance of contractors and links payment adjustments to performance, enabling auditing, monitoring and better management oversight. This system has been incorporated into Safeway Concessions’ most recent procurement as a standard way to approach good performance and good quality.
The aim of Safeway Concessions is to be positioned as an industry leader in the Toll Road sector in India. Arup’s contribution to our journey has been instrumental in supporting us to set best practices. The approach has been flexible to our needs and the level of commitment has been excellent throughout their assignment. ” Ambuj Agrawal CFO, Safeway Concessions
Our team produced an outcome based asset management framework driven by safety, operational performance, that is based on international best practice incorporating the nine toll roads across their entire lifespan. We prepared templates and live documents that facilitate better decision making on deploying the right teams and equipment for routine and emergency maintenance. This not only drives potential operational efficiencies but also improves monitoring of performance and safety of service providers. The digitization strategy will allow work zone information to be shared seamlessly, integrate performance targets and lead to informed decisions on work planning and capital expenditure. We also recommended the structure of an asset management steering committee to enable a lifecycle approach to capital investment with safety being a key pillar.
A safter future on India's toll roads
Arup’s global expertise spanning Australia, UK, Ireland and India was brought together to support our client on its transformational journey. This work ensures that the fundamental processes, systems and procedures are successfully managed to encourage positive behavioural changes through the supply chain that meet leading industry benchmarks and contribute to a safer road network in India.
Safeway Concessions has since been awarded the Road Safety Award for National-Medium Size Enterprise at the Global Safety Summit 2021, in recognition of its excellence in health and safety.