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Sheffield's £2 billion highway maintenance PFI project reaches financial close

Press Release   •   Jul 31, 2012 16:14 BST

Sheffield City Council’s £2 billion Highway Maintenance PFI Project has reached financial close with Amey, its private sector contractor for the 25 year contract.

Amey will now be tasked with delivering one of the biggest highways projects in the country and providing the improvements which are needed to support the Council’s ongoing plans for the regeneration of the city. They will be responsible for bringing Sheffield’s highway network up to a high standard within the first 5 years of the contract and then maintaining that standard for the remaining 20 years of the contract.

Reaching financial close is a crucial milestone in mobilising a contract of this size and scope. Contractual discussions have been completed and the financial arrangements are all in place. The project is supported by the Department for Transport who have agreed to provide an investment totalling £1.2 billion over the life of the contract. 
Councillor Jack Scott, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Recycling and Streetscene said: “Reaching financial close and securing the funding from the Government’s Department for Transport is an important milestone in the project. This now means that we are even closer to providing Sheffield residents with the improved roads, pavements, bridges and streetscene they deserve. 

“This project is a key priority for the Council and the people of Sheffield. This huge investment will provide us with a highway network and streetscene that will be the best in the country within five years.”

Mel Ewell, Chief Executive at Amey said: “We’re pleased that we’ve successfully reached financial close on this contract.  Securing the funding required to enable us to improve and then maintain the standard of Sheffield’s highway network is a major achievement in this challenging financial market.

“Since we were appointed as Preferred Bidder in April we have had a very close working relationship with the Council which has enabled us to be fully prepared to start the improvement works in August. We’re now eager to make a start on transforming Sheffield’s highway network and streetscene for the benefit of everyone who uses it.”

The contract will see Amey improving and maintaining the city’s highway assets as well as providing street cleaning and grounds and tree maintenance and carrying out all winter maintenance duties. 

There will be a significant investment in the first five years known as the ‘core investment period’ when the majority of the improvements works will be carried out. This work will involve improving roads and pavements, replacing street lighting columns and upgrading them and traffic signals with the latest LED technology, strengthening and repairing bridges and structures, improving flood prone drainage and replacing highway trees where necessary. 

It is anticipated that the contract will begin in mid August 2012 and on the day of transfer approximately 480 Council staff will TUPE over to Amey.               


Notes to editors

About the Highway Maintenance PFI Project
The Highway Maintenance PFI works will enable the improvement and ensure the on-going maintenance of the City’s:
• Roads
• Pavements;
• Highway structures, including bridges and retaining walls;
• Streetlighting;
• Traffic signals, road signs, and markings;
• Fences, barriers and other street furniture; and
• Highway trees;
and will include services such as street cleaning, winter gritting and landscape highway maintenance.

The long term benefits of the works will include:
• Smooth pavements and road surfaces which will help reduced vehicle maintenance and fuel costs.
• Well-lit, safer streetscene – helping to dispel the fear of crime and the feeling of social exclusion;
• A highway network that enables journey and delivery times to be reliable;
• An attractive city streetscene and clearly signed roads

Procurement timetable
Three bidders selected (Amey, CarillionMouchel, Colas)                July 2009
Two Bidders selected (Amey and CarillionMouchel)                         July 2010
Preferred Bidder Selected                                                               April 2012
Services Commencement                                                                 Mid August 2012