Major road resurfacing and patching schemes across Gloucestershire have been delayed by as long as seven weeks after a new contractor took on responsibility for fixing the county’s highways.
Nine out of a total of 33 schemes scheduled to be finished in the first quarter of 2014/15 won’t be completed on time after Amey took over from Skanska on April 1.
In the first two months of the new contract two schemes have had two week delays, another two had four week delays, four had six week delays and one project has been delayed by seven weeks.
That means close to 30 per cent of planned work in the first quarter has suffered delays.
Gloucestershire County Council’s highways chief, Councillor Vernon Smith (C, Tewkesbury East), said the delays are regrettable but insisted they are not uncommon at this time of year because of wet weather.
He said: “We have got a new contractor, we have had to retrain 200 employees, we have had to TUPE 250 employees, we have relocated from the Imperial Gate building to Shire Hall and we have done all of that while maintaining our roads.
“The other issue has been the weather. Last year we had seven or nine jobs that were delayed because of the weather and it was eight schemes the year before that.”
He added: “We have had 30 per cent delays which is no different to any other year.”
Mr Smith also said “it was important” during the transition that the authority “kept up to speed” with “reactive works” filling potholes.
The county council’s contract with Amey is for an initial five year period with an option to extend to up to 11 years which means it is worth between £130 million and £450 million.
Councillor Paul Hodgkinson (LD, Bourton and Northleach), Liberal Democrat spokesman on highways and flood, believes progress on improving the county’s roads has “slowed right down” since the transfer.
He said: “Talking to my colleagues we have all had the same issue of believing schemes were going to happen and then they haven’t.
“We have been making some good headway on our roads but in the last couple of months everything seems to have slowed right down.
“This is not about slamming the new contractor but we were told this would be a seamless transition from one to another but that is not what we have seen.
“It quite clearly has not been seamless.”
Road resurfacing schemes that have been delayed:
@Little Barrington to Great Barrington
@Main Road, Barrington
Patching schemes that have been delayed:
@Furlong Lane, Tresham, Stroud
@Harescombe Lane and Gruntas Lane, Harescombe
@Fiddlers Green Lane and Kempton Grove, Cheltenham
@Haresfield, Stratton Heights and Park View, Cirencester
@A4136 Brierley to Nailbridge junction
@Willowbank Road, Alderton
@Mottershead Drive and Thompson Way, Innsworth