Highways PFI project

About the Highways PFI project

At the heart of the PFI project is the comprehensive upgrade – and maintenance over 25 years - of the Island’s road, footway and cycleway network. Also included is the council’s winter maintenance and roadside verge maintenance programmes as well as its street cleansing operations. The CCTV network will also be maintained and improved as will the Island’s street-lighting network with the installation of low-energy LED bulbs.

The project not only includes proposals to keep open the highways at some of the Islands most unstable stretches including the Military Road and Niton Undercliff, similar work to address movement affecting roads will also take place at around a dozen other locations. There are at least 120 separate schemes across the Island to tackle stretches of highway prone to rainwater flooding. The contract will also introduce public waste bin receptacles that allow pedestrians to recycle their rubbish.

In order to maximise career opportunities for Islanders, Island Roads and the Isle of Wight Council will also sponsor a number of university bursaries for civil engineering students over the lifetime of the project.

Under the agreement, Island Roads must have regard for the contract’s carbon and water footprints. As well as the obvious environmental benefit of this approach the local economy also stands to be boosted significantly as it puts local businesses in prime position to provide materials and labour.

The PFI is financed in the main through a Government grant – not a loan and therefore does not have to be repaid. The council will make an annual contribution which will be less than the sum it currently pays to provide the services that will in future be provided through the PFI.

Work began on 1 April 2013 and will see the bulk of the Island’s roads upgraded within the first seven years – known as the core investment period. Traditionally core investment periods are five years but the council has negotiated a longer period to seek to minimise disruption, particularly in the tourism season. Island Roads will be required by the contract to minimise disruption and working overnight, when and where appropriate, will be a common feature of the Highways PFI.

Island Roads is a partnership established by the Isle of Wight Council, VINCI Concessions, Meridiam Investments and Ringway to provide the highway maintenance services on the Isle of Wight from 1st April 2013.

Island Roads is a local business, dedicated to employing local people to provide a highways service which reflects local priorities.  Island Roads will deliver the full scope of the Highways PFI and, from April next year, will begin upgrading, enhancing and maintaining the Isle of Wight’s 803km of rural and urban roads, 767km of footways, 12,068 street lights, 209 bridges and structures, cycle ways, public car parks, signage, CCTV and street furniture. 

Island Roads is a local business, dedicated to employing local people to provide a highways service which reflects local priorities.  Island Roads will deliver the full scope of the Highways PFI.

Scope of the Highways PFI

Core activities that are part of the Highways PFI scope:

  • structural maintenance - carriageways, footways, urban footpaths, kerbs, channels, road signs and highway drainage schemes
  • routine maintenance - reactive repairs to carriageways, footways, urban footpaths, kerbs, channels, road signs, road markings, highway drainage, street furniture, barriers and tree replacements
  • cyclical maintenance - amenity and highway verge cutting on and off highway, weed control, street cleansing, ditching, quartering and gully cleansing
  • emergencies - winter maintenance, emergency call outs to fallen trees, highway flooding etc
  • enforcement - overhanging vegetation, obstructions, illegal footway crossings, safety camera operation, Traffic Management Act (TMA) and New Roads and Street Works Act (NRASWA) and abandoned vehicles (excluding legal action through the Courts)
  • miscellaneous - dealing with customer reports and complaints, third party insurance claims, maintenance of Local Street Gazetteer and Safety Camera infrastructure maintenance
  • street lighting - capital renewals of street lights and illuminated signs/bollards and reactive maintenance
  • structures - bridge and retaining wall capital works (including bridge parapet strengthening), undertaking of structural inspections and assessment and reactive repairs
  • CCTV - capital and reactive maintenance to CCTV infrastructure and operation of control room
  • parking services - capital and reactive maintenance to parking meters and off street car parks

Non core activities that are part of the PFI scope:

  • car parking - capital and reactive maintenance to off street car park infrastructure
  • design - Local Transport Plan (LTP) Integrated Transport schemes
  • land drainage - provision of advice and enforcement role
  • development control - advice and comments on highway planning elements, adoptions and street naming and numbering
  • miscellaneous - assistance with civil emergencies
Retained services that remain with the council:
  • highways PFI Contract Management
  • transport Planning and development of  Local Transport Plan (LTP)
  • transport Strategy (Client role on LTP Integrated Transport Schemes and Traffic Regulation Orders)
  • traffic Manager's Statutory Role
  • enforcement legal action through the Courts