Private firm will take over highways work

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HIGHWAYS maintenance is to be outsourced to the private sector.

Suffolk County Council plans to transfer the service to a private organisation from April 2013 to save £2 million a year.

It would be responsible for the design and construction of highways improvements, winter maintenance, road safety education and street lighting.

The authority’s cabinet will be asked to rubber stamp the proposal on Tuesday.

If councillors agree, work will begin to appoint a new provider.

The move follows continued budget pressures and uncertainty over future capital funding levels.

Cllr Guy McGregor, portfolio holder for roads and transport, said: “I am convinced that to get the best results from the money the county council spends on road maintenance and repairs we need an integrated service and these proposals will deliver this. Also important is the need to respond to local conditions, especially when there are emergencies.

“The input from local county councillors and town and parish councils on the delivery of the service will be enhanced. As much of highway work is carried out by local contractors – I will ensure that the good relations that currently exist will continue under the new arrangement.”