DMURS Quality Audits – What you need to know

A DMURS Quality Audit (QA) is a defined process independent of the design team. However, it requires involvement through the project’s planning, design and construction stages to ensure that high-quality infrastructure or streetscapes are delivered and maintained.

The DMURS Quality Audit process is applied to new highway, traffic management or public realm projects. The QA systematically reviews these projects using a series of linked evaluations to develop high-quality places where objectives of place, functionality, maintenance and safety are achieved.

There are a number of objectives that a new project may want to achieve.

These could be in the areas of:

  • Seeking an appropriate relationship between place and movement.
  • Ensuring permeability and accessibility for all users.
  • Recognising the surrounding environment where strategic modes of transport may have an impact.
  • Ensuring the quality of the existing public realm is maintained or improved.
  • Meeting the needs of the community.
  • Road safety and security.
  • Reviewing appropriate materials and layouts in terms of appearance, durability and maintenance requirements.

There are several key benefits to a scheme that utilises the Quality Assurance Model process.

These include:

  • A transparent process that demonstrates the needs of stakeholders with checks in place to ensure they are delivered.
  • Documents the decision process.
  • Identifies issues during design that may have cost implications, thus reducing costs.
  • Contributes to the quality of life issues at the design stage.
  • Helps users and designers understand the design requirements.
  • Ensures that as the project develops, it is reviewed adequately against the original vision and objectives.
  • Assists in understanding the long term maintenance costs associated with quality and the public realm.

A DMURS Quality Audit can be defined to a wide or narrow scope depending on the scheme’s objectives and where additional focus may be needed. The framework of reviews that can inform the QA process should be considered at the initial planning stage. The type and extent of reviews proposed are tailored to meet the requirements of the project. Generally, the QA process will include a mix of user and design reviews and may consist of all or some of the audits reviews listed here:

  • Street character review
  • Road safety audit
  • Cycle audit/review
  • Access audit
  • Parking audit
  • Walking audit
  • Community street audit

According to the Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets, the intention of a DMURS Quality Audit is not to ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ a design. It is an assessment tool that can highlight the strengths and weaknesses and document key milestones during the design stage.

ORS has over 30 years’ experience in road auditing and design. Our combined skill and knowledge base have allowed us to carry out a wide variety of DMURS quality audits for varying scheme types. If you require a DMURS Quality Audit as part of your development or scheme, contact Adam Price, Infrastructure Lead and Chartered Engineer at ORS will review the requirements and define the extent of the DMURS quality audit that will significantly increase the success and quality of your project.

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