BCER Information Updates
As part of our commitment to regular communication with residents we publish updates to explain developments on the Estate.
BCER 2023 Road Programme FAQs
Q1 – Why were the road works necessary?
It has been a long time since BCER undertook any road works of significance and the condition of the roads has been gradually deteriorating. In 2020 and 2022 the estate’s roads were surveyed by the company’s highway engineering consultants and as a result the Board considered various options from large scale resurfacing to a limited preventative repair programme designed to protect the road sub-structures from further deterioration and limited to only those parts of the roads where need was greatest.
Given the prohibitive cost of large scale resurfacing the Board decided that the latter option was the best option.
Q2 – What process did the company follow to award the road works contract?
The company together with its engineering consultants put together a tender document. Five companies participated in the formal tender process.
The tenders were assessed on the basis of the quality of the submissions, assessment of ability to undertake the works, and cost. Spadeoak, a specialist asphalt surfacing contractor, was selected and awarded the contract on the basis of its previous contracting experience and overall management abilities. Its tender was at the lower end of the range of quotes received.
Q3 – What road works were undertaken?
The scope of the 2023 roads works covered those parts of the roads which were deemed to be in most need of repair. This represented circa 15% of the estate’s roads. Repairs were carried out to protect the longevity of the roads and did not address areas that were only seen as cosmetic. It was, however, decided to finish the repairs in golden gravel to blend over time with the adjacent road surfaces.
The estate’s existing speed humps were in a variety of shapes and sizes and with a large variation in the length of the gaps between them. The works covered all speed humps to ensure that the new ones were standardised in accordance with published Department of Transport guidelines and that, as far as possible, the spacing between them was harmonised.
It was initially planned to use speed cushions but it was found that they were not effective in use and that full width speed humps would be more effective in deterring excessive speed.
The road markings on all of the estate’s roads were refreshed.
Q4 – How much did the 2023 road works cost, and how were they financed?
The total project cost inclusive of professional costs and insurance was £610,000 inclusive of VAT (£509,000 net of VAT). This was within the budget set for the project.
The works were financed from the company’s existing reserves.
Q5 – Given that the 2023 road works were financed from reserves why are the estate’s residents being charged for the cost of the works?
BCER has an obligation to recover expenditure for the costs of the roads project and thereby replenish the company’s reserves to ensure that the company has sufficient resources for future planned maintenance work and to have funds available to cover any emergency work that may be required.
To ease the financial burden for residents the company will phase the collection of the estate charges for the road project due in January 2024 over 3 years.
As BCER is only entitled to recover expenditure on road repairs that has been incurred in the previous year, it is essential that we recover the costs of this work the following year. Otherwise, we could find ourselves with insufficient funds to undertake necessary works in future years.
It is important that we maintain a rolling programme of prioritised essential maintenance work with the aim of avoiding more expensive works later
Emergency repairs to any of our assets are difficult to predict and, when they do arise, they need to be addressed immediately. It is essential that BCER retains sufficient funds in reserve to undertake repairs of this type, also to help “smooth” the inevitable peaks and troughs in annual estate charge income, and keep a rolling maintenance programme going.
Q6 – When will further road works be necessary?
BCER is currently developing a planned maintenance programme covering all of the Estate’s assets to ensure they remain safe and serviceable in use, and any necessary works are carried out in a timely manner. As the 2023 works only covered c15% of the estate’s roads it is expected that a further phase of major road works will be required in the medium term. Starting in 2024, other assets such as road signage and street lighting will gradually be drawn into our programme. Any necessary work will be prioritised following an independent assessment of their condition, safety and serviceability.
BCER Update 01 (January 2023) – Traffic Management
As you will have read in the recent Annual Review, we have clarified the mandatory and non-mandatory elements of the frontage charge that residents pay each year. The costs of Traffic Management, which includes gatekeeping, will be funded from the non-mandatory element of Estate Charges and other income (for example, vehicle permits).
In order to manage the expenses, and improve efficiency, BCER now proposes to leave all the western gates (Manor Way, Priory Park and Blackheath Park) open at all times. The gates at Morden Road and Pond Road will continue to be manned/locked as usual, and this should be sufficient to control non-Estate traffic at peak times. BCER does not expect these changes to materially affect traffic flow through the Estate at peak times of the day; however, the situation will be closely monitored both before and after the change is made and the decision will be reviewed if traffic flow significantly increases.
We are discussing at Board level putting up “No Through Road” signage on the three western road entrances to coincide with this alteration.