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Council puts plan in place to improve resurfacing

A tarmac roller with steam coming from the floor

Sheffield City Council has put a stringent plan in place to improve the schedule of resurfacing being delivered by its highway’s contractor, Amey.

Highway officers will present a report to the Waste and Street Scene Policy Committee on Wednesday 21 December, outlining shortfalls and delays to some areas of Amey’s resurfacing and drainage schedule, which is part of the wider PFI Streets Ahead contract.

In recent years, the programme has been impacted severely by Covid 19, but the council now want Amey to do more to ensure they are meeting targets and delivering for the people of Sheffield.

The report, which details the current issues with resurfacing, shows that Sheffield continues to score above the national average in comparison to other cities when it comes to customer satisfaction with the condition of roads and pavements.

Councillor Joe Otten, Chair of the Waste & Street Scene Policy Committee at Sheffield City Council said:

“Since 2012, when the Streets Ahead contract started, Amey have delivered an enormous amount of resurfacing across the city, which has not only made our roads and pavements safer, but also helped to reduce journey times and attract inward investment for Sheffield.

“The condition of our roads is incredibly important and, disappointedly, there are areas where Amey have not delivered on schedule or to the standards that are outlined in the contract.

“Where they are not meeting requirements, we will work through these issues with them, robustly, to ensure improvements are made.

“This is a huge PFI Highways maintenance contract, the biggest of its kind in the UK, and we need to ensure that, throughout the entire term of the contract, Amey are delivering what they promised, within the agreed timescales.

“There’s already been promising progress in terms of reducing the surfacing works backlog and getting the highway network to a state which is contract compliant. Importantly, both the council and Amey remain fully committed to working together on the improvement plan and delivering the high standards set out in the contract.”

Improvements are already being actioned by Amey and council officers, working in the Highway Maintenance service, will now focus on tracking the delivery of the improvement plan before a performance update is given in six months.

Simultaneously, a new street scene and waste customer charter, outlining what level of service customers should expect, will be published on the council’s website in the new year. The charter will summarise how the two services promise to work with its customers along with providing insights into operational activities across the different areas of work.

Andy Denman, Highways Service Director at Amey, said:

“Since the Streets Ahead contract started 10 years’ ago, we have delivered a significant amount of resurfacing across Sheffield, making improvements to roads and footpaths that have led to the Sheffield network being recognised amongst the highest standard in the country. This is due to the initial capital investment as well as the ongoing extensive maintenance regime.

“Despite the significant quantity of resurfacing, our ‘whole streets approach’ has resulted in increased levels of defects on untreated roads and footpaths. In agreement with Sheffield City Council, we have developed a robust improvement plan to ensure that this position is rectified quickly. We have already made significant progress addressing over 80% of the road and footpath defects, with the remaining to be addressed by the end of March 2023.

“The PFI Highways maintenance contract is complex but we are confident and determined, that by working together with Sheffield City Council, we will deliver to the high standards expected.”

Since the beginning of the Streets Ahead contract, Amey have resurfaced over 920 miles of road, 1,800 miles of pavement and cleaned around 50,000 gullies across Sheffield.

In addition, Amey continues to support community projects in all areas of the city, working with school, voluntary and environmental groups to improve the overall street scene.

Find out more about the Streets Ahead contract

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