Plymouth signs new highways maintenance contract

Representatives of the Council and SWH signing the new highways contract

We have signed a new road maintenance contract with South West Highways (SWH).

The company will take over from our current provider in April 2017 and the deal will be for an initial term of seven years, with opportunities to extend by up to three years.

SWH will provide dedicated customer liaison officers as part of the contract, as well as a public information portal where people can view current and upcoming works and get real-time progress updates for each site. It will also trial innovative technology, such as gully monitoring software to reduce the risk of flooding on the highway. 

Councillor Steve Ricketts, Cabinet Member for Strategic Transport and Housing Delivery (pictured back, centre), said: “We’ve made it a priority to keep Plymouth moving and we want residents to receive a highways service that is efficient, innovative and customer-focussed.

“We went through a detailed procurement covering a range of criteria – from resilience and innovation to value for money – to select a highways maintenance provider that will best meet the needs of the Council and its customers.

“As part of the new contract we’ll also be building on links we’ve forged with Devon and Somerset councils during the procurement*, to find ways of working collaboratively and achieving ‘more for less’ – for example by co-ordinating our activity or procuring materials together.”

David Binding, Chairman of South West Highways Ltd (pictured front with Council Leader Ian Bowyer), said: “We will now be working with Plymouth City Council during the mobilisation period for the establishment of a true partnership to meet the needs of the Council and its customers from the commencement of the contract. We also look forward to a collaborative working relationship in support of the links with Devon and Somerset.”

We will be working with our current provider and SWH between now and April 2017 to ensure services are transferred as seamlessly as possible for customers. This will include looking at all the ‘back office’ systems, including the introduction of a new information management system to manage and coordinate works, as well as ensuring the workforce is geared up for changes in the way services are delivered.

* The procurement was carried out in partnership with Somerset and Devon County Councils, who were tendering their highways contracts at the same time. Sharing these costs meant better value for money for all three councils, as well as local taxpayers.