£300m East Sussex deal outsources entire highways operation


East Sussex CC will move to a ‘new era’ at the weekend as a consortium takes over its entire highways services operation in a £300m seven-year contract.

From Sunday, joint venture Costain CH2M will take over the management and delivery of roads maintenance, street lights and traffic signals, services previously carried out between the council and three separate contractors.

Keere Street in Lewes, East Sussex

Approximately 250 employees will move over to the new contractor, including current head of highways Roger Williams and around a hundred council staff, as well as approximately 150 staff employed by current contractors.

Cllr Carl Maynard, the council's lead member for transport and environment, said: ‘The new contract will offer better value for money and an improved service to residents.

‘Roads are an important issue for people in East Sussex and ensuring we have a well maintained highways network is vital for the prosperity of the county.’

The seven-year contract is worth £300m and includes fixed costs for routine maintenance such as grass cutting, pothole repairs and winter gritting. The councils said this provides more certainty over the cost of the service.

A new incentives and penalties system will be introduced, which the council said will ensure value for money while providing ‘the best possible service’ to residents.

Reporting and fixing highways issues will become easier and quicker under the new arrangements, which include a new website that allows the public to report and follow up highways issues and provides more real-time information about active and planned works.

The county’s highways stewards will continue in their roles, with increased powers to fix minor defects themselves.

The joint venure is made up of construction specialist Costain and civil engineering and programme management company CH2M.

Highways, streetlighting and traffic signals services have up to now been provided by Kier, Colas and Siemens respectively.


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