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Keeping key workers on the move the priority as Heatherwood Roundabout improvements get underway

Works to improve Heatherwood Roundabout outside both the current and new Heatherwood Hospitals in Ascot are underway, with our team commissioned to deliver the project.

Frimley Health commenced the construction of the new Heatherwood Hospital in 2019 and work on site has continued throughout the coronavirus lockdowns – with the new premises expected to open to the public in December 2021. The state-of-the-art facility will specialise in planned, non-emergency operations such as orthopaedics, general surgery, urology and lithotripsy. Throughout the construction of the new facility, the current hospital has remained open and been heavily called upon as a result of the pandemic.

As part of the development of the surrounding area and to ensure easy access to the new hospital, it was agreed that improvement works were required on the adjacent Heatherwood Roundabout and surrounding roads.

These improvements will see an increase from two to three lanes on the roundabout leading south and north onto the A322, west onto the A329 London Road, east onto the A329 High Street.  Dedicated filter lanes will also be constructed in order to improve the flow of traffic and allow easier access to the hospital for visitors and emergency service vehicles.

Works also include utilities upgrades for gas and water services, improved street lighting, signage, surfacing, highway drainage, road markings and pedestrian access including upgrades to pedestrian crossings and footpaths.

The Heatherwood Roundabout project got underway in February 2021 with McCann commissioned to deliver all of the civil and electrical engineering works. The agreed project programme has allowed for a phased approach in order to minimise disruption, reduce noise levels, lower the impact on the environment and keep traffic moving for road users – with works expected to be completed in September this year.

As our Project Manager Michael Nicholson explains, working in such close proximity to a hospital does bring its challenges and pressures given everything that’s happened in the past 12 months.

“Road improvements are part of what we do every day, up and down the country,” explains Michael. We’ve worked on the Mall in London during royal events and been in other situations where timing and the way we deliver are crucial to both the success of what’s happening around us, and the project,”

“With Heatherwood Roundabout, we’ve had to ensure that emergency service vehicles and traffic can access the hospital and surrounding routes with no issues, 24/7. The new hospital is being built right next to the old one, so we’re working on live roads that need emergency access 365 days a year. We also need to plan around the Ascot Festival, which is scheduled to take place in June and will bring a significant amount of traffic to the area for a one week period,”

“In order to overcome potential obstacles and ensure that we don’t restrict access, we’ve partnered with the NHS and developed a phased approach to the works so that we can successfully keep key workers on the move whilst delivering a project which will transform the road network and create easy access to the new hospital,”

For Michael and our team, delivering on our ongoing social value commitments is vital and we have committed to a number of initiatives in Ascot in order to work with and support the local community throughout this major project.

“Working closely with local people and being transparent in how we operate always sits at the heart of any project we undertake. In Ascot, we’ve appointed Public Liaison Officer Syed Shah to proactively work with the community and communicate key information at each stage of the scheme. Syed will also engage with local schools as part of our social value legacy to ensure we leave a positive mark on the town for many years to come.”

The NHS team based at the current Heatherwood Hospital appreciate our adaptability and focus on ensuring a smooth construction programme, as Isabel Mostyn, Senior Project Manager from Frimley Health goes on to explain.

“The roundabout is just a small part of a whole programme of works for us as we build the new Heatherwood Hospital. However, it is part where we anticipated many challenges in terms of minimising disruption to staff, patients, visitors and local traffic.

“The McCann team has been great at adapting their approach to suit the needs of both the hospital and the local authority – especially in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The team has been happy to go above and beyond to ensure that we minimise disruption and allow the hospital to continue to operate throughout what is a very crucial time for our National Health Service.”

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