Phone: 0121 326 9143
Founded in 1995 by Keith Baldwin, Highway Traffic Management (HTM) is a temporary traffic management company that specialises in collaborating with local authorities, infrastructure companies and other organisations to provide a range of services, including full scheme design and planning, NHSS 12A, B, C, & D and event management.
Headquartered in Birmingham, HTM serves a vast geographical area through several strategically placed depots and offices in Lincoln and Northamptonshire. The company has distinguished itself as an industry heavyweight, building a reputation for operational excellence in safety and innovation in the Traffic Management sector in just under two decades.
HTM’s hunger for growth and innovation would eventually lead us to cross paths in 2019, when Re-flow was still a fledgling business within the industry. As early adopters of our software, their insights and feedback have been invaluable in building a truly comprehensive piece of field management software for traffic management. They have achieved outstanding results with our software, as well as becoming vocal advocates of Re-flow. Earlier this year, Mikee Booth, Operations Manager at HTM even appeared on stage with our Managing Director, Michael Saunders at Traffex 2022 to discuss the critical reason to implement Re-flow as part of a business's digital transformation.
We recently had the opportunity to collaborate with HTM once more, this time with Managing Director, Greg Baldwin. We wanted to understand what makes the company an industry leader – it’s history of innovation, current projects, sustainability initiatives and more.
Part of HTM’s stellar reputation has been their long history as pioneers within the sector. Their very first major high-speed project involved providing traffic management services for the UK’s first smart motorway project on the M42. The team took full advantage of the opportunity, kickstarting their long career in the high-speed traffic management sector. Years down the line, HTM has become firmly established as a leader in their field.
The firm has also become a proven innovator when it comes to equipment and safety procedures. The company has previously developed and custom-built a series of low-level works vehicles which help minimise potential risks to workers operating at a height. Originally built to HTM's specifications, these vehicles have since been widely adopted throughout the traffic management sector. As expected, the business has continued to tirelessly innovate on their original design, recently moving onto their seventh iteration.
GB: “Our initial designs have now become widely recognised by the industry, and they have adopted our design as standard specification, while we have continued to innovate our designs. Our ambition with them is to ensure that with each new version, we're innovating and improving them to ensure we're always moving forward.”
HTM has taken a somewhat novel approach to ‘going green’. Whilst many companies take the approach of reducing environmental impact through spot reduction in individual areas in sequence, improving sustainability progressively and reducing their carbon dioxide emissions over a period of multiple years. Once more, HTM opted to take the road less travelled, which has yielded some incredible results. The company has chosen lead with offsetting their carbon footprint, and then reducing. Using carbon sinks and carbon credits, HTM has taken steps to become the first company in traffic management to achieve PAS2060 for carbon neutrality. This will also pave the way for further ambitions, with plans to become carbon negative in the near future.
By doing this Highways Traffic Management has frontloaded the financial impact of reducing their environmental impact. Not only does this make their business more sustainable, but it also adds a major financial incentive for them to now begin reducing through replacing or re-evaluating their major sources of carbon dioxide emissions. Doing so will not only help in their carbon-negative admissions, but also reduce the cost of their offsets.
GB: “We wanted to flip that on its head by saying, ‘we’ll offset first and then find ways to reduce’. Anyone in the highways industry has a moral obligation to assess their own impact and the wider business impact they have.”
A major area of ongoing reduction involves HTM’s vast fleet of over 165 vehicles. Since 2020, the company has changed 85% of it’s management vehicles from diesel box vans to plug-in hybrid cars, as well as acquiring one fully electric vehicle. Looking towards the future, HTM aims to continue building their fleet of hybrid and fully electric vehicles. Efforts to reduce the mileage of business trips are also being implemented, including encouraging remote and home working to further reduce the company’s carbon footprint.
Complementing the bigger changes to their fleet, the company has also made a big impact by re-evaluating fuel consumption and enforcing stricter guidelines on vehicle usage. Reducing unnecessary trips, excessive idling, harsh braking and acceleration can go a long way. To enforce this, HTM has installed vehicle tracking equipment that has allowed them to monitor the driving habits of their operatives. This data is then used to correct errors as well as reducing harmful emissions and associated costs.
Committed to reducing their environmental impact across all areas of the business, HTM has planned ahead with their new headquarters and 21AB Midlands depot, which they acquired the land for in 2019. Moving away from their previous premises, which they had rented for over two decades, the business aims to construct a base that is large enough to facilitate future expansion, while being custom-built to fit their sustainability goals.
GB: “The plan is to build a bespoke TM Depot that we are aiming to make completely carbon neutral. This will be a challenge, but extremely possible as we get to design it from a blank canvas. When works are complete, HTM will have two sites on the same road, less than one mile apart.”
Currently in the process of ongoing renovations and construction, the building will boast state-of-the-art sustainable technology, with the aim of being completely carbon neutral. This includes more efficient lighting systems with built-in motion sensors, a low energy heating system as well as solar panels. The location will also place their teams closer to their 12D Midlands Depot, reducing travel times and increasing their depot capacity to meet increasing demands for their services.
As HTM continues to innovate and deliver stellar services to its clients, the team needs to remain on their toes and adapt to the ever-changing circumstances of the traffic management sector. The industry is still undergoing major changes as it develops and is now seen by people as a viable long-term career path for new entrants.
GB: “Our industry is still very much in its infancy, when considering that we often work alongside Civils and construction which have been around for a very long time, traffic management as an industry has only really been around for about 35 years.”
Like many industries, including construction, rail and civil engineering, labour and skill shortages look to be among the major problem facing the TM industry in the near future. This is an issue plaguing most businesses in the sector, not just HTM. With increasingly less apprentices entering these fields, qualified professionals are worth their weight in gold.
As such, HTM has also made a commitment to becoming an exemplar in maintaining the mental wellbeing and safety of its workers. Greg was recognised as one of 5 senior leaders among 300 nominees in the ‘Senior Leader Award’ at Mind’s fifth annual Workplace Wellbeing Index awards, receiving an award on behalf of the company. The business is intent on tackling the stigma around mental health, and constantly taking positive steps towards supporting their employees. As stated earlier, HTM highly values the input, commitment and expertise of their teams, implementing ideas from their operatives to improve the business, as well as offering pathways to career advancement and development for all of their employees.
At the core of their endeavours, however, HTM is focused on continuing setting increasingly higher industry standards with their services, while maintaining their moral and ethical commitments and leading the sector into a safer, greener and more open-minded future.
GB: “The big thing for us is remaining focused on doing the right thing, whether that be around sustainability, road work safety, or just the general delivery of our work. Doing the right thing, maintaining our integrity and keeping the reputation we've worked so hard to build. We want to do all this while remembering to have fun while doing it.”