After extensive consultation and engagement with local residents, businesses and councillors, Wokingham Borough Council has significantly transformed its highways and transport service contracts, as the council continues to revolutionise the way it provides key services.
The Council is currently inviting tenders for the provision of these highways and transportation services. This is a fantastic opportunity for contractors to work in partnership with Wokingham Borough Council, a regional leader in this field, to supply ground-breaking high-tech services.
As well as strong, quality service provision, the new contract will work alongside the council’s own 21st century programme to ensure technology enables residents to be fully informed about maintenance work that is being carried out throughout the borough. It will also give them the opportunity to not only report a problem, but to also access updates throughout the process until it is concluded.
The council currently has five contracts for highway and transportation service delivery that include professional services, maintenance and construction services, structures and bridges, street lighting and drainage maintenance, all of which come to an end on 31 March 2019.
The new highways and transport services contracts have been restructured to now consist of two contracts instead of the previous five which will deliver better cost effective services whilst maintaining the high quality the council demands. The council will also consider ICT solutions to assist residents gaining information throughout.
The first contract will be for professional services where the council needs specialist expertise and to support peaks of project workload. The second contract will include highway maintenance and construction including street lighting, structures, bridges and drainage services plus delivery of major infrastructure projects.
The new contracts will require potential bidders to not only provide expertise in these fields, but also the ability to provide the innovative ICT solutions required to meet the councils and residents requirements. The successful contractor must provide improved access to information via web access including day to day services and project activity on Wokingham’s highway network. However consideration has to be given to those residents who do not have IT access as well.
Residents will continue to be able to use a ‘Report It’ service of the Wokingham Borough Council website to report all highway issues including potholes, problems with street lighting and traffic light and damaged pavements.
The two highways contracts will run for seven years with an option to extend to ten years and Wokingham Borough Council and the successful partner will be able to offer this service to neighbouring boroughs. As a result these contracts have an estimated value of £10-35million for the professional services and £70-241million for maintenance and construction services.
The range is wide as both contracts have been made accessible for use by neighbouring Berkshire Authorities, which makes the contracts more attractive to the market ensuring more efficient services.
Cllr Keith Baker, executive member for highways and transport commented, “Wokingham Borough Council is at the forefront of providing evolutionary highways and transport services and this new partnership will enhance our ability to seek innovative solutions to problems that we know residents have concerns about. We are confident that, after extensive consultation with our residents, local business owners and Councillors, our new contracts and partnerships will enable us to meet our objectives and exceed expectations.”
Contractors have until 14 February 2018 to declare an interest and from these, between three and five will be invited to make full bids for each contract. The contracts will be awarded to the successful contractors in mid-October, allowing time for the contractors to set up an appropriate organisation and the formation of the partnership before the new contracts go live on the 1 April 2019.