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Highways contract sees improvements in West Northamptonshire’s communities

Parking, roads and transport

06 December 2022

Image of a workmen dressed in a hi-vis jumper with the WNC and Kier logos stood in front of a van with the WNC logo.

Communities across West Northamptonshire are beginning to benefit from improvements across their local areas, as Kier and West Northamptonshire Council deliver its ‘Community Enhancement Plan.'

In September this year, West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) launched a seven-year contract with Kier, a highways maintenance provider, to oversee the new highways service across the area.

Working together, WNC and Kier have a fresh focus with an increased investment of more than £1million per year from WNC into the service.

This investment is enabling works such as maintaining local roads, footpaths, signage and drainage, repairing potholes and winter gritting.

In the first two months of the Plan, Kier’s community enhancement teams have worked at pace to deliver benefits for residents and road-users across the 2,454.30km network it maintains.

So far, the Community Enhancement Plan has touched 58 towns and parishes, and is set to cover the vast majority of the county by the time it is completed in April 2022.

The community enhancement teams have cleared over 2km of vegetation and cleaned over 1,500 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 over 2,200 road and footpath defects, which includes nearly 1,500 carriageway repairs, since the contract was launched on behalf of WNC.

"We know that the condition of our roads, verges and signage is very important to our residents and drivers.

"It is fantastic to see the vast improvements which the new Highways service is already delivering in our communities.

"The Community Enhancement Plan seeks to make a difference in our towns and parishes.

"By working together, it is clear to see the changes which are already being made.

"We look forward to continuing to work with Kier over the forthcoming months and years."
Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for environment, transport, highways and waste at WNC.

Alongside working through its Community Enhancement Plan, WNC is also busy preparing its highways network for winter, as Kier readies its fleet of gritters and prepares its salt reserves.

"By working in close collaboration with WNC, we have accelerated our maintenance activities to create a visible impact from the outset – and the benefits are already being felt by the wider community.

"We are committed to delivering a consistently high-quality service that residents and road-users can rely on, and we look forward to extending the improvements set out in the Community Enhancement Plan across the West Northants region."
John Coombes, General Manager at Kier Highways.

Kier has set its commitment to working with the council on its sustainability goals to achieve net zero emissions by 2030, as well as increasing social value to the service to benefit the wider West Northants community and economy, such as supporting local disadvantaged groups and working with local sub-contractors.

North 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.

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