All posts by Emma Sampayo

CVU go back to school


It was back to school for CVU as they took part in Stoke Newington school’s year 10 speed careers day on Friday 12th June. People from different industries donated their time to share their knowledge about their chosen career paths. From musicians, to actors, park rangers and even staff from Google were all ready to discuss their careers with the students.

The way the event was set out was that each student had three minutes to sit and ask as many questions as they liked about what each person’s job involved. A lot of the students were attracted particularly to the tools CVU had to hand which included a slab lifter, petrol saw and CAT. This drew large numbers of them to speak to Joe Perry and Reece Brandon in particular who were dressed in full PPE and had pictures of the different vehicles that
could be driven within CVU.

The students seemed to enjoy the day and were never short of questions to ask. It was good to see them engage in such an event. Even if they had not thought about what career path they would choose in the future, it was important for them to see they had many options. It was a particularly nostalgic day For Joe Perry – an Operative for CVU who during his school years attended Stoke Newington School.

“I think events like this are a fantastic way to give kids an insight at an early age what different industries can offer. It is important for the students to be able to talk to us one to one on a level where they are interacting with professional adults who are not just their teachers or family members, especially if it helps choose a career path that is right for them. ” Joe Perry – Operative

The Speed career day was the second engagement CVU took part in this week. On Thursday 11th June we were invited to speak to students at LeSoCo (Lewisham and
Southwark College) who were about to Graduate from the London Highways Academy of Excellence. In attendance was Charlie Morris – current CVU Apprentice. Charlie spoke to the group about his experience as an Apprentice and how much he has enjoyed his time here at CVU. This impressed the group and many showed an interest in joining the
Apprenticeship programme CVU offer. Ben Moorat also attended the event and will be recruiting two people from this group as TM Apprentices.

“It is important to give the next generation the knowledge and understanding about the industry so that we can motivate and empower them to pursue a career in something they enjoy doing.” Ben Moorat – Traffic Management Manager

CVU’s first women ERU team

First women ERU

Over 30,000 people took to the streets of London on Sunday 26th April to take part in the Virgin London Marathon. CVU assisted in setting out road closures, parking bay suspensions and had crews on site to provide emergency assistance as and where required. Of the crews were two notable members from CVU, Laurene Bobb-Semple and Tanya Moseley who were CVU’s first all-female ERU crew.

As TfL celebrate 100 years of women in transport, CVU wanted to show that women in our business are more than capable of doing any role. Both Tanya and Laurene undertook assessments and passed with flying colours. The pair were then given training and spent some time with our own operatives to gain some experience before providing a fantastic service ensuring the Virgin London marathon was a
successful event, from a support point of view.

“CVU strongly support women in transport and engineering and these two ladies have done a fantastic job providing great service to the public, to the company and to themselves. They have shown that women, quite rightly so, have a prominent place in our business and industry that we must continue to encourage.” Dhiresh
Bhatt, CVU Network Manager.

Statistically women in engineering or industries alike are sparse. CVU, with TfL are lobbying to try and change this, to make local schools, communities and businesses aware of the roles that an industry like LoHAC can offer.

“TfL promote women in transport and on the 100 year mark of this, alongside our CVU colleagues, we have demonstrated that barriers should and will be broken down and in this instance we can thank Tanya, Laurene and other CVU staff for providing great assistance to ensure the smooth running of the London Marathon.” Stewart Wilson, Senior Route Manager, TfL.

CVU bridge the gap on recycling


With the Houses of Parliament a stone’s throw away, Lambeth Bridge is one of the most
historic Bridges within the Central London area. CVU were asked to renew both pedestrian
footpaths on the bridge. Working closely with English Heritage and conservation officers
both representing Lambeth and Westminster council respectively.

CVU commenced footway improvement works on the upstream side of the bridge working from the north side of the bridge to the south. These works are undertaken in two phases.

“With Lambeth Bridge being in close proximity to the Houses of Parliament, Environment Agency as well as MI5 we needed to manage traffic disruption versus pedestrians. So we liaised with the LSTCC, City of Westminster, London Borough of Lambeth and the metropolitan traffic police to insure traffic wasn’t affected while works were on-going,” said Kareem Hanson, Project Manager, CVU.

The upstream side of the footway had many slabs that were severely broken and worn
and these slabs needed to be replaced. CVU ensured that the existing Revin York stones
that were not damaged were retained to be reused on the downstream footpath. CVU have managed to carefully take up around 60% of the existing York stone to be reused on the downstream footpath to insure the bridge kept its original features.

For safety reasons CVU closed the upstream footpath while works were on-going making all pedestrians use the downstream footpath. Every effort was made to ensure that the safety of pedestrians in this location is priority at all times.

Bravery at its finest

Danny Morris

London is a very busy place with a lot of things happening all at the same time, and some things can sometimes go unnoticed; but not all things.

A few weeks ago, a few members of the CVU team with TfL attended a site meeting along
Pentonville Road by Angel Mews. Whilst there, the group noticed two ladies had pulled their car over and it had started smoking. On moving closer to the vehicle the group noticed that it had actually caught fire.

While Firaz Miraz TfL, ran over to the car to tell the ladies it’s not safe and to get out of the vehicle, Danny Morris from CVU moved into action straight away. Danny ran into the nearby shops asking for fire extinguishers and ran to the aid of the women and started putting the fire out. This took him several minutes and while more local shop owners brought out their extinguishers, Danny continued to put the fire out on his own.

“I feel like his bravery should be known, as no one else wanted to go near the car and I believe he provided a great service today,” said Tracey Smith Regional Planner TfL.

“Lena and I, with TfL was just taking part in the usual site visit, when we all noticed this car was smoking. I don’t know what came over me but I knew I just had to help. I knew there were a few local shops nearby so I just ran to get some form of help as the car looked so unsafe. I am just happy I could help and that no one was hurt.” Danny Morris, Project Manager CVU.

Lights! Camera! Action!


Closing a road is a big task; closing a tunnel is even bigger one! CVU was recently asked to help create a live exercise scenario within the Upper Thames Street Tunnel, to allow the emergency services, City of London and TfL to carry out their responsibilities in a controlled environment.

TfL’s overall aim of the activity was a system check on working procedures between all parties involved, that the tunnel facilities were fully capable of supporting emergency service response to an incident, as well as effective traffic management solutions.

The exercise was called Gallium and it was arranged for there to be two staged accidents, with real actors playing the part of the injured victims. Everyone involved wanted it to be as real to life as possible so they staged an incident of a motor cyclist weaving dangerously through the traffic, resulting in two cars crashing to move out of its way. Further down the tunnel to the cyclists dismay, crashed into a car causing another accident. Emergency services where there on site within minutes and managed to secure the scene as well as use this exercise to practice with new car cutting equipment.

On the day of the event CVU were engaged to provide the logistics and site set up for Gallium to be carried out, which included design drawings for TM, site setup and access control, closing both East and West bores of the Upper Thames St Tunnel, and of course hot refreshments for all involved. With involvement of film crews, London Fire Bridge
and the City of London Police it was a very eventful night.

“The night was a great success! It was pleasing to see CVU being asked to organise such an interesting exercise. Everyone was so professional and it was a good opportunity to see the LFB in action! I did feel for the actors, getting cut out of a car must have been scary!” David Hazelton, Tunnels and Structures Maintenance Manager, CVU.

Beep! Beep! CVU upgrades fleet!

new fleet

Over the last few weeks, CVU have acquired a new Euro VI fleet. At present we have replaced four ERUs (Emergency Response Units), plus upgrading to the Euro VI Standard.

To aid the gangs, the vehicles have all been fitted with internal racking to allow a safe place for everyday items being carried, as well as keeping the vehicles more tidy. CVU have also added a ‘key out system’ to allow the driver to be able to remove the keys and lock the vehicle whilst leaving the engine running. This allows the vehicle to continue to use its beacons, whilst ensuring the vehicle is secure, which is useful for the ERU gangs when dealing with responses at night.

These vehicles also have LED beacons on the roof and on the rear and front grille, this means less drain on the battery and not having to constantly change bulbs. LED lighting also provides a more visible illumination during the day. One major addition to the new ERUs is that each one has been fitted with a light arrow board to help ensure road users are aware in advance of any incidents and direct them to the next lane well in advance of the incident.

“The introduction of the new vehicles shows our commitment to having a green fleet whilst also looking to add safety and awareness features to the vehicles, especially on the ERU vehicle with the matrix board on the back to give even greater advanced warning to oncoming traffic.” Dhiresh Bhatt, Network Manager CVU.

It’s been an egg-citing week!

Richard house

The Easter break can be a time to spend with loved ones, celebrate religious festivities and
of course indulge in all the wonderful chocolate that surrounds this holiday season.

Not everyone is so lucky to be able to spend this time at home with their families. So to create a little cheer for those that can’t, Val Saunders, Permitting Officer for CVU, decided to start a collection of Easter eggs for children at the Richard House Children’s Hospice to ensure that everyone, including their siblings, could share in the Easter egg-citement.
Over the last two weeks, CVU staff have been busily collecting an egg-strordinary 160 Easter eggs which were delivered to the children by our Emergency Response Unit on Thursday morning. The charity and children were delighted with the egg-cellent donation from CVU.

“The donation of so many Easter eggs by CVU to our hospice is incredibly thoughtful. It is wonderful to have such support from the local community. We have a lot of families coming in over the Easter holidays, especially for family support activities and I know the eggs will bring smiles to children’s and families’ faces.” Tracie Dempster, Director of Family and Care Services, Richard House.

“Val’s kind thoughts and enthusiasm have ensured a number of children who will not be at home this Easter will be able to share in the joy that Easter brings, and get very messy with some chocolate too!” Matt Wilson, Network Manager, CVU

CVU will work closely with Richard House on future engagement opportunities as well as
other charities in the community.

Explosive start to the week….well almost!


An unexploded World War II bomb was found at a building site in Bermondsey, London yesterday causing chaos on London’s road network.

CVU were contacted to carry out traffic management duties to help ensure safety and ease traffic congestion. With London’s Tower Bridge closed to traffic, and the Metropolitan Police putting in place a 400 metre exclusion zone, closing some of London’s busiest road, this was no easy task. Upon receiving the call from the LSTCC at 10:26 yesterday CVU deployed a TM crew immediately to site to reinforce police closures that were already in place.

The initial closure involved closing off Tower Bridge and Tower Bridge Road from the junction of East Smithfield to Bricklayers Arms Roundabout. The wider closure also involved closing off the southern junctions on Jamaica Road to stop traffic entering the exclusion zone.

“Due to the nature of the incident the CVU network control room acted quickly to deploy further resources to assist the emergency services in diverting traffic and securing the scene. Ben Moorat and Piotr Krawczynski liaised with the police to manage the area and what closures were going to put in place, with support from Claire Galakhina at the Network control room. This was a fantastic effort from all those involved.” Dhiresh Bhatt, Network Control Manager, CVU

This activity caused widespread traffic in London where CVU with TfL carried out everything possible to utilise traffic contingency plans to assist traffic flows. Two local schools were also shut, as well as hundreds of people evacuated from flats close to the scene.

Bermondsey was one of the most heavily bombed areas of Britain during World War II, targeted because of its industry, proximity to London docklands and mail railway supply lines. It is thought that the explosive is around 5ft long and 1,000lb in weight. CVU are continuing to manage local traffic, as the bid continues to make the explosive and surrounding areas safe.

“Events such as these thankfully don’t happen often but highlight the varied and interesting challenges we face in Central London. I’m proud that CVU have been able to respond quickly to help manage public safety and minimise resultant disruption to the travelling public.” Kunle Kolaru, Managing Director, CVU.

Boris breaks ground to begin Cycle Superhighway


CVU welcomed the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson to start the site of the North-South Cycle Superhighway. Rob Simmons, Project Manager Major Schemes, CVU, took the opportunity to explain to the Mayor, what CVU will be carrying out for this high profile route.

In LoHAC PPE, Mr Johnson was at the controls of a JCB at St George’s Circus at the beginning of the scheme, which kicked started the whole project.

“It was a great opportunity to meet the Mayor and for him to see the work CVU will be carrying out. This job is in such a high profile location and the next few months will be challenging but it is a great project to be a part of,” said Chris Constantinou, Project Manager CVU.

The North-South superhighway linking Elephant and Castle and King’s Cross is due to open next April, with its southern section finished by the end of the year. The North-South superhighway will have the capacity for 3,000 cyclists an hour. At present, cyclists travel along the route every two seconds.

CVU host Supplier Day

supply chain

Wednesday 4th March saw CVU host a Supply Chain Event held at the London Transport Museum. The day started with an introduction from Kunle Kolaru, Managing Director CVU, about how the contract is faring and an overall of where CVU is heading in the future. Russell Lawrence, Supply chain Manager, continued with proceedings and raised vital topics such as why we need to work more efficiently with our supply chain and what we look for in a supply. Working closer with our supply chain will not just benefit CVU but LoHAC too.

“This event was a great success and provided collaboration with our Supply Chain partners. Having a competent and integrated Supply Chain is critical to the success of this Contract. Events such as these give us the opportunity to reinforce this message, inform our suppliers of our future plans and gain supplier feedback to continue to drive efficiency and innovation to deliver a first class service”, said Supply Chain Manager, Russell Lawrence.

Many people from across the business participated in the day, including, Rob Simmons PPD Schemes Manager, Emma Sampayo Communications Officer, Health and Safety Manager Jason Howard and Tunnels and Structures Manger Barry Warner. CVU emphasised the importance of ED& I as well as being one brand; LoHAC.

“We found the event, areas and topics covered really useful for gaining greater insight into the CVU operation and your role and challenges working within the LOHAC. The day was also an excellent opportunity for us to meet other suppliers during the break out session and also talk with the speakers and some senior management within CVU. It was very
positive day for us that can only help continue to improve our on-going working relationship,” said Peter Coffield, Director Sun Hill Surveying and Engineering Ltd.