07 Dec Highways contract sees improvements in North Northamptonshire’s communities
Communities across North Northamptonshire are starting to benefit from improvements across their local areas, as Kier and North Northamptonshire Council deliver its ‘Community Enhancement Plan’.
In September this year, North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) launched a seven-year contract with Kier, a highways maintenance provider, to oversee the new highways service across North Northants.
Working in partnership, NNC and Kier have a fresh focus with increased investment from NNC into the service of £1.5 million. This investment is enabling works such as maintaining local roads, footpaths, signage and drainage, whilst allowing teams to find and fix potholes that would not normally be on the programme of repairs.
In the first two months of the plan, Kier’s community enhancement teams have worked at pace to deliver improvements for residents and road-users across the 1,838 mile network it maintains. So far, the Community Enhancement Plan has visited 110 towns and parishes and is set to cover the vast majority of the authority by the time it is completed in April 2023.
The community enhancement teams have laid 72,835 metres of road markings, tended over 7,500 metres of vegetation and cleaned over 1,350 signs – with all activities set to enhance the appearance and safety of the highways network.
Alongside the scope of works listed in the plan, Kier has rectified 1,838 road and footpath defects, which includes over 1,000 carriageway repairs, since the contract was launched on behalf of NNC 12 weeks ago.
Cllr Graham Lawman, NNC’s executive member for Highways, Travel and Assets, said:
“I’m delighted to see these highways projects taking place across our area at pace, making noticeable improvements in our communities. It can be the little things that make all the difference and having clean and visible road signs, better white lining and tidier vegetation as well as fewer potholes bring a nicer and more welcoming environment for all who live in the area.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the completion of further work that is scheduled in the coming months as we progress the main towns, moving towards an even more effective and safe highways network.”
Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of the Council, said:
“A fit for purpose highways network is essential for any area and I’m pleased to see these improvements happening across North Northants.
“Our highways infrastructure is so important, in so many ways, to connect communities and bolster the economy.”
Alongside working through its Community Enhancement Plan, NNC have been working with Kier to prepare for the winter season, which launched in mid October. With the salt barns full, the team have already been out twice to treat roads as temperatures start to drop.
John Coombes, general manager at Kier Highways, added:
“The Community Enhancement Plan has allowed us to accelerate maintenance works across the North Northamptonshire region, with the initial investment demonstrating to residents and road users that we are committed to offering a high-quality service that residents and road users can rely on. The positive community impact delivered so far is a clear result of the successful collaboration between Kier and NNC.”
West Northamptonshire Council is also working with Kier to manage its highways services, which is providing some cost advantages for the two authorities, as Kier will utilise some back office roles and systems across both areas.