International firms win £762 million contracts to look after Lincolnshire’s roads

Fixing potholes and patching up roads will be one of the responsibilities of Balfour Batty under the new contracts.
Fixing potholes and patching up roads will be one of the responsibilities of Balfour Batty under the new contracts.

The lucrative contracts for maintaining roads, including fixing potholes, in Gainsborough and the rest of Lincolnshire are set to be awarded to three companies.

International giants Balfour Beatty Group Ltd, Colas Ltd and WSP UK Ltd are the successful bidders for the contracts, which are valued at up to £762 million and will potentially last for 12 years.

The job opportunities all three will bring are expected to provide a welcome boost to the area’s economy.

Lincolnshire County Council selected the new suppliers after a detailed procurement process. The three current highways maintenance contracts are due to end in March next year.

Coun Richard Davies, the council’s executive member for highways, said: “It was important to get the best possible deal for taxpayers, so we’ve put a lot of time and care into these negotiations.

“The new contracts will see significant investment in improved equipment and new technology at highway depots around the county, which will mean better road repairs in the future.”

The three chosen companies all have worldwide reputations as experts in their field.

Balfour Beatty has been selected for the county’s main highways works contract, worth an estimated £638 million. The firm will be responsible for the majority of road repairs, including fixing potholes, maintenance in winter, signs, road markings and cutting grass verges.

Colas has been picked for the traffic-signal contract, worth an estimated £26 million, while WSP has been chosen for the professional design services contract, valed at an estimated £98 million.

Coun Davies added: “All three companies have shown a willingness to use local suppliers and take on apprentices, meaning there will be wider benefits for our communities.

“I feel confident the contracts will be awarded at the next meeting of the executive, which would mean Balfour Beatty, Colas and WSP can start preparing for the the start of the new contracts on April 1, 2020.

“I would like to thank our current partners for their efforts in delivering highways services for the people of Lincolnshire over the past ten years and look forward to seeing how the new contracts develop.”

Each contract will run for an initial period of six years, with the option to extend for a further six years after that.

About 250 provider staff will be affected by the changes, but all are expected to transfer to the new suppliers.

The contracts are earmarked to be rubberstamped at a meeting of the council’s executive on Tuesday, October 1.