Highways England has struck a deal with Volvo for 41 XC40s to join its fleet. The vehicles will be used to assess the standards and integrity of the country’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads – travelling thousands of miles a year.
Highways England says the XC40’s safety features and road presence were notable reasons for its selection, which came after Volvo Car UK renewed its status as a supplier on the Crown Commercial Services vehicle purchase framework agreement.
Nick Harris, executive director of operations at Highways England, said: “Keeping our roads safe, well maintained and providing a better driving experience for road users are important aspects of the day-to-day operation of our roads – contributing to our key imperatives of safety, customer service, and delivery.
“It is important that vehicles we use are cost-effective, reliable and versatile – the Volvo XC40 will be a valuable addition to our fleet.”
Highways England says that the quality of build and technology, including the Sensus navigation and Volvo On Call app, meant only minor modifications to the off-the-production line model were needed for the Government agency to put the XC40 into service.
The Volvo Car UK Special Vehicles division, which secured the contract, has over 50 years' experience developing purpose-built vehicles for customers with special requirements including police, fire, ambulance paramedic and rapid response cars.
It worked with Volvo’s preferred vehicle installation and conversion partner, Jack Hodson, to make the necessary changes to the XC40 fleet for Highways England, including adding a rear bulk-head to increase storage capacity, as well as an amber light bar and livery.
Run-lock technology was also fitted so that inspectors can leave the engine running with the amber lights flashing while the vehicle is locked. This ensures visibility and safety at the side of the road without the vehicle being at risk of theft.
The Volvo XC40 service and maintenance package also convinced Highways England that its aftersales needs could be met across its entire geographical network, while its efficiency means it meets the government agency’s emissions targets.
Matt Galvin, sales director at Volvo Car UK, said: “Already popular with commercial fleets across the country, the XC40 can now offer its huge array of benefits to government agency employees. Highways England works diligently to keep motorists on the move and we are proud that this fleet of XC40s will keep its inspectors mobile as they tackle tough work in often challenging conditions.”
Photo caption: Nick Harris, executive director of operations at Highways England and Matt Galvin, sales director at Volvo Car UK