Who will maintain Suffolk’s roads?

County councillors will be recommended to authorise the award of a contract to maintain Suffolk’s highways to a joint venture between May Gurney Limited and WSP UK Limited (MGWSP).

If approved by Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday 26 February, and subject to the formal legal procedures for awarding the contract, it will mean MGWSP will be responsible for the design and implementation of highway maintenance and improvement works, winter gritting, street lighting, traffic signals and bridge works throughout the county.

As well as continuing to provide a high quality highway service, MGWSP will improve the availability of information about work on the highway, improve Suffolk’s environmental performance and contribute to the local economy through use of local companies, commitment to apprenticeships and action to raise skill levels.

Because of a delay in the procurement process, Cabinet is also being asked to authorise extensions to existing contracts as part of interim arrangements to safeguard service delivery. In some cases, providers are able to offer improved rates for the period of the contract extension. It is proposed that the new highways contract will start on 1 October 2013.

The contract will deliver £2 million per year of recurring revenue savings and help the council’s transport department achieve efficiency savings of 1.5% per year. Official analysis has shown that the delay to the start of the contract should not affect the overall savings over the life of the contract.

Lucy Robinson, Suffolk County Council’s director of economy, skills and environment, said:

“Providing a quality service whilst saving taxpayers money remains our focus and the county council is continuing work towards that aim.

“This does mean a delay to the start of the new contract as we want to ensure that the matter is handled properly, that staff are kept informed and that a smooth transition is made. We will therefore be working on interim arrangements to ensure that service delivery is uninterrupted.

“The bid from MGWSP scored highly on quality and I am confident that Suffolk will continue to get a high quality highways service while making significant savings.”

To view the full cabinet report visit: http://committeeminutes.suffolkcc.gov.uk/meeting.aspx?d=26/Feb/2013&c=The%20Cabinet