Econ hat trick captures the capital

24/01/2022
Dominic Browne

Econ Engineering will be supplying gritters to all three contractors awarded framework agreements to keep London’s roads ice and snow free.

For the next seven years, 33 Econ vehicles will cover the capital, ready to mobilise as soon as temperatures plummet.

Transport for London (TfL) first tendered the three new area contracts two years ago, with the city divided into the central area, which was won by Ringway, the north area, which went to Tarmac and Kier joint venture and the south, which was secured by FM Conway.

The combined value of all three contracts is estimated to be worth £1.4bn.

This set-up replaced the previous London Highways Alliance Contract (LoHAC) seven-year agreement. The original LoHAC was split into four areas with the north region into North-East and North-West.

Over the last 12 months, the Econ team entered negotiations with all three contracting companies.

Ringway purchased 11 new gritters, with all of the vehicles signed up on an eight-year repair and maintenance contract.

The Tarmac/Kier JV has hired 13 gritters through Econ’s own Contract Hire Fleet Services.

All of these gritters will be run on HVO (hydrogen and Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) fuel from day one to reduce their carbon footprint.

'HVO fuel is made from sustainable raw materials, can be used in any diesel engine and is 90% cleaner than using pure red or white diesel,' Econ said.

FM Conway hired nine gritters and, following a successful trial, had the vehicles fitted with a tracking and navigation system.

All vehicles are fitted to the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) 360 degree visibility and a five-camera safety system, making them compliant with TfL’s safety permit guidance.

Jonathan Lupton from Econ Engineering said: 'We are delighted to have been chosen by all three TfL contractors as their winter maintenance vehicle partner of choice.

'This is a significant contract award for us and demonstrates our standing within the highways and transports sector.

'For more than 50 years, Econ has become an industry leader in the manufacturing of gritters, and our vehicles are used by councils, highways agencies, and road contractors the length and breadth of the UK.

'In addition to selling gritters, we also have an extensive hire fleet, and two of the three TfL framework contractors have chosen to go down this route.'

TfL said: 'For the next seven years the three contractors will be ensuring our roads are kept open whatever the weather conditions. And for their part, they have chosen Econ Engineering to supply them with the necessary vehicles to ensure they fulfil their contractual obligations.'

Econ has a manufacturing base in Ripon, North Yorkshire and has recently opened two engineering hubs in Alloa, Scotland, and the Welsh capital of Cardiff.

It produces 85% of the winter maintenance vehicles seen on the UK’s roads.

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