Plymouth City Council has appointed South West Highways (SWH) as the new contractor for its highways maintenance services.
Cabinet members have given the preferred bidder the green light after a rigorous procurement process and contracts are due to be signed next month, following a statutory ‘standstill’ period.
South West Highways will take over from the council’s current provider in April 2017 and the deal will be for an initial term of seven years, with opportunities to extend the contract by up to three years.
As part of its winning bid, South West Highways has committed to providing dedicated customer liaison officers and 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.
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 means better value for money for all three councils, as well as local taxpayers.
The three councils will continue to work collaboratively to find ways of achieving ‘more for less’ – for example by coordinating activity, procuring materials together, jointly managing contracts and extending schemes into neighbouring areas where it makes practical and financial sense.
Councillor Steve Ricketts, cabinet member for strategic transport and housing delivery, 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-focused.
“We’ve gone through a detailed tender evaluation covering a range of criteria – from planned and reactive maintenance and resilience to innovation and value for money – to select the bidder that will best meet the needs of the Council and its customers.
“There’s an ever-growing expectation on councils to demonstrate efficiencies and collaborative working and we’ll be building on the links we’ve forged with Devon and Somerset during the procurement process to explore ways of achieving this together.”