As part of a major redevelopment and expansion, West Midlands Safari Park entrusted S&C Slatter’s dedicated in-house surfacing & civils team to deliver comprehensive road construction to re-design and enhance the drive-through experience for visitors, while handling heavy traffic on the park’s busiest days.
West Midland Safari Park is home to some of the world’s most beautiful and endangered exotic creatures, known for their conservation efforts. Opened in 1973, WMSP was the first safari park in the UK to house all five African big game animals, with their popular drive-through safari attracting over 750,000 visitors each year.
While the park’s existing road infrastructure had served them well for over forty years, management knew they had to make drastic changes to deliver the new 5-year scheme, focused on upgrading facilities for the animals, improving conservation efforts and the overall guest experience. Required works that were identified included the need to interlink new roads with existing roads, create bypass areas, effective animal crossings and redesign the experience with a change of direction and traffic flow.
Of course, perhaps the biggest requirement was maximising animal and visitor safety, ensuring that the selected contractors would be capable of completing work in areas that are used to contain dangerous and/or rare species, while ensuring that the roads themselves would be built to the quality required to withstand heavy traffic, whatever the weather, on the park’s busiest days.
S&C Slatter’s dedicated and experienced in-house surfacing and civils team were chosen by the park to deliver the works based on our collaborative approach and the technical knowledge demonstrated through the production of thorough plans and method statements, in line with the park’s objectives.
Neil James, West Midlands Safari Park’s Project Manager, commented:
“The enthusiasm of the S&C Slatter team stood out. Nothing was too much trouble and they were flexible in their approach towards our scheme. They understood what we were trying to achieve and worked within our budget constraints to give us the best possible product.”
The team worked closely with the park’s project team and keepers, working within live animal enclosures with careful consideration of staff, animals and visitors to the park, minimising disruption to daily operations while delivering the project under tight timescales. Stringent protocols were observed and enforced at all times, with our teams following project plans and method statements to the letter.
Road construction and improvement works were completed on time and to budget in early 2020, with over 1.4km of new roadways introduced, improving the drive-through experience for visitors while ensuring the safety and protection of the park’s animals.
Despite works being delivered amidst the uncertainty of COVID-19, the park was able to open during certain months of the year within government guidelines, with the new roadways and drive-through redesign enjoyed by thousands of visitors to the park.
The team had a wonderful time on-site and are thrilled to have delivered works that will form part of the park’s major redevelopment, serving visitors and ultimately supporting the park’s growth and conservation efforts for years to come.
The S&C Slatter team were first class, they followed our stringent protocols and followed their own plans and method statements to the letter. Every person on site was professional and approachable and answered any questions we had. All in all, a pleasure to work with.
Slatter Surfacing & Civils is a specialist division of S&C Slatter delivering major surfacing & infrastructure solutions including Car Parks, Access Roads, Pathways and Hard Standings.
The scope of projects undertaken feature new build, complete or partial refurbishment, change of use and enhancement, and or re-surfacing.