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Mon June 21 2021

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All change on Devon's roads

16 Sep 16 Amey has lost its Plymouth highways maintenance contract to South West Highways, which in turn has lost its long-running Devon contract to Skanska.

South West Highways has lost Devon but gained Plymouth
South West Highways has lost Devon but gained Plymouth

Devon County Council’s cabinet has agreed recommendations to award its highways term maintenance contract to Skanska Construction UK, after 22 years of service by South West Highways.

The contract will run for an initial seven years from 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2024, with extension options for a further three years.

Devon’s current highways term maintenance contract with South West Highways, which covers routine, reactive, emergency and planned highway maintenance work, expires at the end of March 2017. Devon has a budget of £67.7m for highway maintenance in 2016/17.

Skanska expects the contract to be worth £245m over the seven-year term.

South West Highways is a joint venture of Colas and Eurovia, formed in 1995 especially for the Devon County Council highways contract and it has looked after Devon's roads ever since.

Devon CC said that it anticipated that many current South West Highways employees would be eligible to transfer to Skanska under TUPE legislation.

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Skanska Construction’s proposals, as part of its winning bid, include a range of initiatives to tackle potholes, job creation for Devon residents, introduction of an efficiency and performance manager, an affordability review every three years to target investment, and improved communications.

However, Plymouth City Council has appointed South West Highways as its new highways maintenance contractor. South West Highways will take over from Amey in April 2017, also for an initial term of seven years, with opportunities to extend the contract by up to three years.

In Plymouth, South West Highways is planning to trial technologies such as gully monitoring software to reduce the risk of flooding on the highway.

Devon County Council, Plymouth City Council and Somerset County Council all carried out procurement for highways maintenance in partnership, to save money. Somerset has yet to announce its decision; its current provider is Skanska, which acquired the £30m-a-year contract a part of its £18m purchase of Atkins’ highways maintenance business in 2013.

The three local authorities have agreed to continue collaborating –  for example by co-ordinating activity, procuring materials together, jointly managing contracts and extending schemes into neighbouring areas where it makes practical and financial sense – and through the South West Highways Alliance, a partnership of 15 highway authorities in the region.

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