Big PFI council highways plans clear funding hurdle

Aaron Morby 13 years ago
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Three council PFI-based highways maintenance projects worth £4.6bn have earned a Government funding green light after unearthing big savings.

Planned highways maintenance improvements in Sheffield, Hounslow and the Isle of Wight will now move to the next stage of the funding approval process after slashing up to 20% from predicted costs.

Last year the Government challenged the local authorities to look again at the cost of the PFI projects they were promoting to ensure value for money.

Transport Minister Norman Baker said: “By finding savings, I can confirm that we are today allowing these projects to move a step forward within our funding approval process.”

The projects can now continue their procurement processes and, subject to approval of a final business case, be able to award the service contracts.

Isle of Wight Highways Maintenance

Colas, Amey and Vinci are understood to be bidding the £1.2bn scheme due to start in 2012.

The scheme will allow Isle of Wight Council to improve the island’s infrastructure including roads, footways, street lighting and other aspects that are related to the highway. It includes almost 499 miles of road with 477 miles of footway. The project also includes 12,000 street lights, a number of bridges and other structures.

Sheffield Highways Maintenance

Amey and CarillionMouchel are left in the race for Sheffield City Council’s £2bn Highway Maintenance PFI Project after Colas dropped out  last year. The contract is due to be awarded in August .

The project proposed by the Council is a comprehensive highway maintenance project designed to achieve a co-ordinated approach to the highway and street scene. The project which the Council has called “Streets Ahead” will encompass the entire highway network in Sheffield, including 1,200 miles of carriageways and 2,000 miles of footways and or bridges and streetlights.

London Borough of Hounslow Maintenance

The three consortia selected for the shortlist are: Skanska/John Laing, Vinci/Ringway and Balfour Beatty.

The teams have submit detailed proposals, including funding for the £1.4bn project.

The winner is due to be revealed in Summer 2012 for a start in 2013.

With 458 miles of pavements and 259 miles of roads, Hounslow has a duty to maintain its streets in a safe condition. This project would revitalise the Borough’s roads, pavements, bridges and other street furniture.

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