£225m deal will see Kier take over maintenance of Somerset roads

A NEW company will maintain Somerset roads in the coming years after signing a £225 million deal.

Kier Transportation Ltd has signed an eight-year deal to deliver core maintenance across the road network managed by Somerset Council.

The agreement covers works including road repairs, drainage, verge cutting and winter service, such as gritting and other emergency functions in adverse weather.

Somerset has a 4,172-mile road network and the current contract with Milestone Infrastructure comes to an end at the end of March next year.

Since 2021, the council said it has been engaged in a tendering process involving suppliers from across the UK.

In a change to the way it delivers services, it has divided up the existing contract into four separate contracts covering different areas of service delivery.

Three other multi-million-pound contracts – covering resurfacing, surface dressing, and new assets – will be awarded “in due course”, the council said.

The aim is to increase efficiency, cost effectiveness and innovation while being more resilient to climate change with a reduced carbon output, it added.

Kier Transportation Ltd put in a successful bid for the largest contract covering term maintenance, with the contract beginning on April 1, 2024.

Somerset Council’s executive committee approved the award of the contract earlier this month.

The council said many of the staff working for Milestone Infrastructure will be transferring their employment to the new contractor, bringing experience and expertise to the new role.

Cllr Mike Rigby, lead member for transport and digital, said: “We’re really delighted to have Kier Transportation Ltd as our new partner maintaining our network – they met all our key criteria and have some exciting proposals about taking the service further in terms of carbon reduction, efficiency and maximising social value for our communities.

“We’ve had a fantastic working relationship with Milestone Infrastructure and we’d like to thank the team for their hard work and dedication, but with the conclusion of the contract there was an opportunity to do something new.

“This is a major refresh of our network maintenance services, something we’d not seen for 27 years, so we are committed to building in resilience to climate change, ensuring a safe, serviceable and sustainable network that is fit for purpose for all users and supports the growth of the local economy.

“Now more than ever it’s vital that we have a financially resilient service that is cost effective, as well as being flexible and agile, attracting the best people and embracing new technologies to enable innovation.”

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I am the editor in chief of Blackmore Vale media, which includes the New Blackmore Vale, New Stour & Avon, Salisbury & Avon Gazette and the Purbeck Gazette, having been a reporter for some 20 years. In my spare time, I am a festival lover, with a particular focus on Glastonbury. I live in Somerset with my wife and two children.