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Procurement routes

Debate

Most construction related workload is tied up in a one term contract operated by the council's own DLO, now called County Contracting, and worth about £17M/year. This six year contract includes winter maintenance, plus minor road and bridge repairs.

However this term package is to be retendered in the autumn for a new contract starting summer 2001. Though decisions have yet to be taken, it is possible the DLO will be externalised and an enlarged, extended term contract offered only to the private sector on condition thein-house workforce is novated across to the winning tenderer.

Additional work such as gully emptying, grass cutting and larger bridge repairs - all currently outside the term contract - may be incorporated to boost the contract to around £20M/year. And it may near double in length to 10 years.

The other major contracting package on offer this year could be an £18M PFI integrated transport deal centred on the seaside resort of Scarborough. Construction of a £12M southern feeder road into the town, bypassing several coastal communities, will be combined with the provision of park and ride facilities, operation of its buses and an improved traffic control system.

The council has yet to decide between a PFI or conventional government financed route, though the senior roads engineer responsible for the scheme, Andrew Hugill, favours the former incorporating a 25 year concession to operate the park and ride. 'The private sector is more flexible and better equipped to operate buses and traffic management,' he says.

Either way, a design and build contract could be tendered in July. Supervision of the Scarborough package will be steered through Mouchel.

As well as around an annual £1M of minor works - junction redesigns and traffic calming - Mouchel also supervises the county's £3M/year bridge strengthening programme. Around 150 of an original 450 understrength bridges still need upgrading.

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