AtkinsRéalis with Geospatial Commission

AtkinsRealis with Geospatial Commission

Performance Improvement in the Public Sector

MCA Awards Finalist 2024It’s claimed we know more about the surface of the Moon than about the ocean floor. Many UK organisations have probably felt the same about the millions of kilometres of pipes and cables criss-crossing our roads and paths.

To plan maintenance or repair, it could take six days to receive records showing which asset was where. When they did arrive, they were in different formats. This cumbersome process contributes to the 60,000 asset strikes that occur most years when pipes or cables are hit, endangering workers, delaying construction, and damaging the infrastructure upon which daily life depends – a cost of £2.4 billion a year and numerous traffic jams.

Funded by the Geospatial Commission and part of the Government’s Major Projects Portfolio, AtkinsRéalis, working alongside Ordnance Survey, 1Spatial, GeoPlace and the Greater London Authority, has delivered a private Beta version of the National Underground Asset Register (NUAR) in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland – this cloud-based platform will do in 60 seconds what has taken six days.

All major energy and water providers, as well as telecommunications companies, transport organisations and local authorities have voluntarily provided data to the platform, after the AtkinsRéalis team promoted the benefits it could bring to the industry. Describing this improvement, Brian Weatherall, Drainage and Coastal Protection Manager at Durham County Council said: “If our old system was a horse and cart, NUAR is an F1 car”.

NUAR underpins a revolution in the way the UK manages its underground assets, something the Geospatial Commission has described as “an amazing legacy”.

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