The new Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) has been launched with its own new web location, making it easier and quicker to find information in what is known as 'the highways bible'.
The new website is now live and available via the Standards for Highways website. Highways understands that as a result of the ongoing coronavirus crisis the document has not been released in printed form yet to avoid any extra pressure on delivery services.
The publication marks an huge achievement for Highways England, which was challenged by the government in 2015 to review the usability, structure and content of the DMRB before April 2020.
The new manual has been limited to a standards document.
Highways England highlighted 'significant benefits' including:
- It is written to enable increased innovation and reduce the need for departures from standard by a projected 60% - which is equivalent to a saving of £10m per year
- It has been produced in a digital format that will enable innovation in design, construction and operation
- The new website enables easier access to DMRB documents, including archive documents, on a range of devices including mobiles and tablets
- The documents are written in a clearer, more concise style enabling a 50% reduction in word count and 60% reduction in the number of documents
- The standards have been authored, reviewed and housed in an easy-to-use enterprise system. The new digital approach has cut the time taken to author and review documents by around 70%.
Highways England's head of technical standards, Steve Davy, said: 'To help the highways industry operate more efficiently, and to encourage more innovation, we have digitised and updated 300 standards used on a daily basis by anyone working on motorways and trunk roads in the UK and internationally
'The new documents are in a format which make them far easier to read and apply. They reduce the need for departures from standard by 60% – which is equivalent to a saving to the industry of £10m a year.
'Anyone working on the design and maintenance of roads infrastructure will need to be aware of the changes.'