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Parliament Square


Description of Works
FM Conway was commissioned by Westminster City Council to complete over one kilometre of utility ducting networks around Parliament Square, making sure that this prestigious part of London keeps its lights on whilst meeting the challenges of working in a high-security environment.    

Services used on this project Highways Maintenance
Delivering Innovation 

Mark Sluce, Project Manager at FM Conway explains: 
“Through our role as term maintenance contractor for Westminster City Council, FM Conway was appointed to deliver an essential £2.4 million programme of utility works around Parliament Square.  The works involved trench excavation down to a depth of 1.2m along Parliament Square, Parliament Street, Bridge Street and St Margaret’s Street."

Mark added: "We then created utility chambers using a specialist plastic ducting system for housing telecom and power cables.  These chambers were secured with concrete before reinstating the carriageway with FM Conway’s proprietary materials.”
Security concerns had to be carefully considered while planning the works and extra precautions were taken to secure the utilities network. 

“The security of our site and storage compounds was carefully monitored to prevent unwanted interference or access,” says Mark.  “We called on our cleansing team’s expertise, using their specialist mobile CCTV system to check the new ducting network for irregularities. This surveillance helped to reassure our client of both the quality of our work and eased anxieties over the potential for security breaches. 

“We also procured specialist manhole covers from Portugal and Spain which were installed at 50m intervals to provide access to the network.  The unique design of these covers prevents unauthorised access, adding another level of security.”

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Parliament Square was a unique and rewarding job and the roads of Westminster are now secured and fit for purpose.

Mark Sluce - Project Manager at FM Conway
Challenges and Solutions

Working in one of London’s busiest tourist hotspots and in the shadow of the Palace of Westminster posed unique challenges as Mark explains: “We had to quickly adapt for a range of special or unforeseen circumstances, namely a snap election and 17 events including the Women’s Cycling Tour and a state visit by the King of Spain – not exactly your run of the mill job!  

“This called for rapid reactive programming and works phasing.  We had to have a very close relationship with all relevant stakeholders, including Transport for London, the Metropolitan Police, London Underground and the Greater London Authority, to prepare for these events and minimise disruption.”
 

Outcomes

Although the high-profile nature of the site proved challenging, the team unearthed some exciting discoveries.  

Mark comments: “During our excavations along Parliament Street we exposed a row of medieval houses.  It was an incredible find; the Museum of London was called to carry out an archaeological excavation and we mapped the site using GPS to ensure it was flagged for future works.

“Parliament Square was a unique and rewarding job and the roads of Westminster are now secured and fit for purpose.”