Wirral Council will invite tenders for its new four-year £40 million highway services contract this summer.
This follows a decision by the council’s cabinet in March this year.
Cllr Harry Smith, Wirral Council cabinet member for streetscene and transport services, said: “Our existing contract comes to an end in March 2014 and following a detailed appraisal of options, we have decided to tender for a new provider from 1 April 2014. The scope of the contract will be the same – covering nearly all aspects of highway infrastructure maintenance including winter salting operations.
“A four-year contract with extension options, valued at £30 to 40 million will need to focus on keeping our highways safe for all users and the provider will need to be responsive to the needs of our communities and help the council to reduce its costs.”
The council is one of the first authorities to use the new Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme (HMEP) procurement and contract documentation – designed by local highway authorities and their providers to meet the needs of local highway services.
The procurement process will be carried out in accordance with EU requirements, and it is expected that a pre-qualification questionnaire will be published on the North West procurement hub’s ‘The Chest’ in May 2013.
Matthew Lugg OBE, director of environment and transport at Leicestershire County Council, and seconded to the Department for Transport (DfT) to lead the government-sponsored HMEP programme, said: “ I am delighted that Wirral Council are intending to use the standard HMEP contract, which is designed specifically to bring about consistency of documentation for all local highway authorities and their service providers. HMEP is developing a training package for authorities like theirs that are intending to use the contract in the near future. I am also intending to set up a network group as part of the HMEP knowledge hub to share information and experience in using the new contract.”