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Ringway secures deal to keep control of Worcestershire's roads
A BUMPER £30 million-a-year contract has been handed to Ringway to repair Worcestershire’s roads up to 2020, it has emerged.
The deal, which will start from next April when the current one expires, means the organisation can carry on dealing with potholes, divots and cracks in the county’s highway network.
Your Worcester News can also reveal how the beefed-up contract is loaded with extra stipulations to appease drivers.
- Ringway will take over verge maintenance, in a bid to save taxpayers’ cash and ensure the county looks its best
- A set of defined standards will come into force over the quality and appearance of road markings, with Ringway asked to maintain them on a rota basis
- Maintenance of vehicle fleets will also be handed to the body, as an incentive for it to seek commercial opportunities for looking after the stock
On top of that Ringway will be expected to maintain the drains so it is “effective at all times”, including cleaning them out.
Traffic regulation orders, repairing of potholes, cracks, divots and other defects on carriageways, weed control, and emergency responses to road repairs also comes under Ringway’s work.
Targets added into the new contract also include ensuring 99.5 per cent of county drains are “effective” at all times, constant year-on-year reductions in customer complaints, and delivering more road repairs with the same cash.
Under the deal, around £28m-£30m is channelled towards Worcestershire’s roads network every year through the contractor, although it does flunctuate.
A report on the deal says since 2005, when Ringway was awarded its current contract, gritters have been given new technology so they work better.
The number of yearly defects have fallen from 34,578 to 28,711, reflecting more investment into better quality repairs and early intervention like jet patching.
Despite the improvements public satisfaction with roads in the county has remained stubbornly low - last year it plunged seven per cent in a year, falling to 35 per cent.
But that trend is mirrored across the UK - Leicestershire has the highest satisfaction rate among all counties for roads but there the figure is only 47 per cent.
The county council say the contract is for another six years, running out in 2020, with the option of taking it to 2026.
Councillor John Smith, the cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: “When I started on this council in 1995 we were repairing roads back then but not doing it very well.
“Ringway got the contract in 1995, it’s been extended over the years and we’ve seen lots of improvements.
“We’ve got the option of another six years on top of this contract and it’s good for the long-term.”
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