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Quality in our Road Infrastructure

18th May 2015

Last Thursday (14 May)  I was in Dorset seeing one of our Clients and another successful surveillance visit to one of the management standards.

My journey home was far from enjoyable; just to remind you it was raining heavily.  A journey, which should take three to three and a half hours, took six hours.  The route took me along the A31, M27, M3 and M25. At best we were travelling at walking pace and at times we were stationary for extended periods.  The information signs on the M3 advise that roadworks started in November 2014 and will last for 26 Months. Anyone using the M3 will attest that the repairs are causing long delays.

There were lorries parked on the hard shoulder of the M25 motorway, obviously they had run out of tachometer hours, and this added an extra hazard.  By the time I got home I was exhausted and angry that the infrastructure was unable to cope with rain.

If the requirements of ISO9001 (Quality Management Standard) were applied to the road system it would fail miserably:

  • Customer satisfaction  – none whatsoever
  • Customer complaints – very high
  • Control of non-conformities – none apparent; no sign of Highways Agency traffic officers or Police patrols;
  • Product and Service delivery – was abysmal.  The variable speed limit signs were set variously at 40 MPH (the lowest) and seemed to be randomly set at anything from 40-60.  It was farcical that we were stationary and the indicator was at 50 MPH.

All in all you can tell that I was not amused.  I also thought about the environment; all those vehicles  pumping out exhaust fumes and consuming vast quantities of petrol and diesel.

The road infrastructure really does need some serious investment to allow journeys to be completed in a reasonable time.  I drive on the continent and apart from some exceptions the motorway networks seem to cope well – even in the rain!!

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Consultancy, Quality Matters Limited.

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