The highways industry is acutely aware of the problems caused by extreme weather events and are also conscious that these problems are becoming more frequent, more disruptive and more costly – not only to the network operators, but also to local businesses, communities, and the travelling public. In 2014 the DfT published the Transport Resilience Review in response to this issue, and recommendations from the review went forward to become challenges set out in the Local Highways Maintenance Incentive Fund self-assessments.
Towards the end of 2014, the South West Highways Alliance (SWHA), an association of 14 local authorities, together with the Environment Agency, Climate Ready and Climate UK commissioned Wilson Pym May Limited (WPM) to undertake the development of HIRAM – the Highways Infrastructure Resilience Assessment Modelling tool. The purpose of this tool was to help these local authorities to take a more strategic approach to resilience planning in the South West. To support asset management decision makers, HIRAM was designed with built-in fact and rule-based business case reports. Using HIRAM meets incentive fund requirements and makes it very easy to provide financial evidence to support bids for funding.
In 2017/18, South Gloucestershire and Bristol joined together and used HIRAM outputs as the basis for developing a project to build resilience at 10 locations, with the aim of removing or reducing the impact of regular flooding on local commuter routes. This led to a successful bid for £3.35M from the DfT Flood Resistance Project Challenge Fund.
HIRAM is a web-based SaaS solution, meaning no software to install and rapid deployment to users. It is still owned and run by the SWHA. Currently 27 Authorities are using HIRAM with each authority paying just £3,000 per year to cover hosting, training, support and maintenance from their technology partners WPM.
- Provides ready-made economic business case outputs
- Proven effective in supporting bids for funding
- Helps to meet level 3 incentive fund requirements (questions 8 and 9)
- Potential for great returns from small investment
- Owned and run by local authorities for local authorities