22 Nov 2022

A school in Derbyshire has given Kier Highways Solutions a helping hand with the naming of one of its four new pieces of machinery.

The surface treatment provider and bitumen manufacturer, which is part of Kier, launched the ‘name the sprayer’ competition with St Joseph's Catholic & Church of England Primary School in Staveley, Chesterfield.

169 pupils from across the school were encouraged to take part in the competition, which saw four-year old Alyssia, announced as the winner, with the name Suzie the Super Sprayer. Alyssia was presented with a prize voucher, and the class was invited to step aboard the vehicle and take a look around.

Pupils from years five and six also took part in interactive workshops led by Kier. They created road safety posters and took part in structure building – with a focus on teaching pupils how the business maintains, protects, and preserves the highway network in the UK.

"It was a hugely positive experience working with Kier. The children were engaged throughout and enjoyed the construction workshops, as well as learning about careers within the construction industry. They were excited by the competition, and the day that the sprayer came to school was a great experience. We were honoured to be a part of this activity. "

Paula Lowry Head Teacher at St Joseph’s

Following the response to the activity, Kier Highways Solutions plans to host sessions with three further primary schools across its core locations - where pupils can compete to name the other three sprayers, stretching the impact of the educational activity to over 500 pupils.

Lee Draper, general manager at Kier Highways Solutions, said: “It was great to see how the children engaged with these activities. It has given the children a glimpse into how we maintain the roads to keep them and their families safe.

“We will have all of the Eden Sprayers named ahead of the next surface dressing season, and we’re delighted to have collaborated with St Joseph’s to bring highways to life for the children. We hope this has inspired the pupils about the fantastic work that goes into each project.”

The Eden Sprayers, which were introduced to the fleet earlier this year, are custom-specified road emulsion sprayers fitted with advanced technology and safety features, that prioritise both worker and public safety. These features include direct vision technology, a two-step entry design, electronics to monitor tyre pressures and wheel nut tightness, and spray bars that are controlled automatically by a series of radar sensors.

Earlier this year, Kier Highways Solutions was selected to deliver a year-long contract on behalf of Derbyshire County Council - providing c. 550,000sqm of surface dressing using 900t of surface dressing emulsion that Kier manufactures in its dedicated factory in Wymondham.

To learn about Kier’s commitment to social value, please visit: https://www.kier.co.uk/sustainability/