the announcement* by transport ninister Tony McNulty, that the city's bid
for £379m of PFI credits had been approved by government.
'This will be the UK's largest privately financed roads project to date.
It will be worth in excess of £2bn over 25 years and will provide a unique
opportunity to completely change the appearance of every street in the
'With the help and advice of the local community we will be repairing or
replacing worn out pavements, increasing, improving and upgrading street
lighting and greening-up the streets with trees and shrubs. Local people
will have the chance to help determine priorities and influence the choice
of materials used.
This major new project fits in exceedingly well with our announcement this
morning of the extension of our You are Your City Clean and Safe campaign,
both of which will bring real improvements to the quality of life in local
'The council recognised the need to inject extra money into our streetworks
programme some time ago, and brought forward £10m from our own
budgets. This resulted in us being able to successfully undertake
significant additional works, culminating in government recognition with
the award of national beacon status for our streets and highway works.
'However, with over 9,000 roads to maintain in the city it was recognised
that massive additional funding was required to bring all roads,
particularly residential roads, up to, and maintained at, an acceptable
level. We talked to the government about how best to achieve this and are
now extremely pleased that they have recognised our case and support our
intention to make the city's roads amongst the best in the country.'
David Pywell, strategic director of development, acknowledged the
considerable amount of work that had gone into the project:
'Officer s have worked long and hard into making the best possible case to
the government. The award of the PFI is a real achievement which builds on
the success of the work carried out by dedicated Officers across the city.
'We hope to start on site within two years and then spend 5-7 years
removing the backlog of repairs. We recognise the importance of working
with local communities during this busy period and will ensure that the
contractor works closely with constituency teams and local councillors.'
The scope of the contract, which will go out to tender in August 2004 will
include all elements of the highway - roads, footways, street lighting,
bridges, traffic signals, street furniture - together with management of
utility works and on-going maintenance.
* Further details of today's announcement here.