New operating companies will be selected to manage and maintain the trunk roads and motorways in two of four units that make up the network in Scotland - the North West Unit and South West Unit.
North West Unit
Scotland TranServ (Balfour Beatty and Mouchel Parkman joint venture)
BEAR Scotland Ltd
South West Unit
Amey Infrastructure Services Ltd
Nuttall WSP (Edmund Nuttall Ltd and WSP Consultants Ltd joint venture)
The contracts are being competitively tendered, and will be awarded this autumn. The successful bidders will begin operations in Spring 2006 when the current contracts end.
Transport minister Nicol Stephen said:
'These contracts are an evolution of the current arrangements and underline our commitment to make the best use of the trunk road network in terms of customer service, value for money and innovative roads management.
'Substantial funding is invested annually in the maintenance and improvement of the network, and service providers are therefore required to deliver the high standards through effective management and deployment of the necessary resources.
'Service levels have been carefully reviewed for the new contracts and, where appropriate, improved to accommodate the changing expectations of how Scottish trunk roads should be managed.
'It is therefore entirely appropriate that stricter requirements for winter and landscaping maintenance are introduced.'
Improved service levels will be included in the new contracts for better winter and landscape maintenance.
use of pre-wetted salt
no barriers to joint working with councils
required to snow plough concurrently at least two lanes on multi lane roads
tightened requirements on salting to err on the side of caution
reviewed winter patrol routes to ensure they are provided where they bring the most benefits
Landscape maintenance (grass cutting frequencies):
High (14 cuts) - within 30 mph areas in cities towns and villages
Medium (6 cuts) - within 40 mph areas in cities town and villages and major roundabouts.
Low (3 cuts) - general verges
Minimal - larger rural areas of grass
At present, the network is managed and maintained by BEAR Scotland Ltd (North West Unit and North East Unit) and Amey Infrastructure Services Ltd (South West Unit and South East Unit), who were awarded the contract in February 2001 following a tender competition. The current contracts are for a period of five years although this can be extended by a maximum of two years.
The new contracts will also be for five years with the option of extension by up to two years at the sole discretion of the ministers. Projected annual turnover for each contract will be between£17m to£48m at current prices.