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Islanders may not see their roads resurfaced or repaired to an acceptable standard for a further 4 years as it has been announced that the PFI contract’s Core Investment Period has effectively been extended from 7 to 11 years.

It was initially planned that the Island’s road network would be brought up to scratch within the first 7 years of the 25-year contract with Island Roads, a time frame known as the Core Investment Period (CIP). Typically these would be 5 years long, but it was agreed at the start of the contract with the Isle of Wight Council that this would be extended by 2 years to April 2020 to take into account the seasonal nature of the Island.

Now, it has been confirmed that there will be a further 4 years of significant resurfacing and repairs on the Isle of Wight as the major project is behind schedule – something Island Echo suggested back in May 2019.

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Secrecy has always surrounded the PFI contract and that has come under fire in recent weeks. However, it has now been revealed that around 90% of Hierarchy 1 and 2 roads have been resurfaced on the Island, but the smaller side roads and country lanes have not received the same level of treatment.

Even some of the busiest roads on the Island are already failing, including New Road in Brading which is breaking up in several locations. Other major roads such as Fairlee Road are yet to be resurfaced at all.

The number of pavements completed Island-wide is unknown and it is unclear if the resurfacing of the pavements will be completed within the next 4 years.

There is a constant argument over the promises made at the start of the PFI, with many Islanders under the impression that every road would be resurfaced within 7 years.

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A statement issued by Island Roads in August 2013 read:

“This programme by Island Roads is the most intense schedule of works yet to be undertaken through the Highways PFI under which virtually the entire road network will be improved over the next seven years in what is called the project’s Core Investment Period (CIP)”.

As recently as 2018, a senior Isle of Wight Councillor is known to have been telling members of the public that every road would be resurfaced in the first 7 years. Cllr Stuart Hutchinson said in a report to Shalfleet and Yarmouth Parish Council in 2018:

“Our Highways network continues to improve and by the end of the core investment period, which has another two years to run, every Island Road and pavement will have been brought up to a high standard. It then will be maintained at that standard for the next 20 years”.

An Island Roads spokesman has said:

“There are 18 more years of the PFI left during which we will continue to maintain and improve all types of road across the Island.

“We continue to carry out works through the normal course of the contract, and our plan is to continue the next four years of significant road improvement work that will leave us very well placed to maintain the network to the required level for the remainder of the contract.

“This means keeping the average condition across the Island above the agreed standard.

“While the programme is not as intensive as during the last seven years, the public will see lots going on, but with less disruption to local road users and visitors, particularly in the periods when holiday makers are visiting our Island and making use of the improved roads and amenities.

“In short, though the period of the most intense road improvement activity is coming to an end, the quality of the road network will continue to rise in the coming years.”

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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A. Resident

yep extended another 4 years & then after that yet another extension so they can go back & repair the roads they’ve bodged up in the first place


As usual we have been conned. Most islander could see it coming, but not so IW council. Many will no doubt accuse them of bribery or stupidity for not having tighter contracts, overseeing the progress or lack of such in place. Island roads have done the easiest roads, those with less cars to manage, less kerbs, drains to raise, less driveways to worry about etc. I am sure initially Island roads said they would NOT do as past repairs had done but would dig down an treat the underlying issues of clay, and poor subsoil. Yet they seem to have… Read more »


Most big companies know that the bumpkins running the IoW are a pushover and there won’t be anyone capable of challenging them.


Agreed, that’s why the Island is such a “cash cow” for developers.


The time has come for the Council Tax payers of the Isle of Wight to demand a full public enquiry into this whole darn mess. The enquiry needs to look into who and how this was ever set up and their qualifications to set it up. It needs to look into the full circumstances of the known employment of certain persons by IR,those persons originally employed in the Highways Department of the council. The enquiry needs also to determine how the Council has monitored the contractor since placing the contract and what action has been taken to protect the taxpayers… Read more »

Common Sense

Am I right in thinking that Island Roads is a company set up by 3 former councillors?


So everyone here has missed the main question we as council tax payers should be asking.
What is the financial penalties payable by island roads for failing to meet set targets?


It is a secret or as County Hall will say, commercially sensitive. (aka embarrassing )


There are many roads on the Island around Ryde and Newport that are in an appalling state and getting worse, there is no sign of even an attempt to repair let alone resurface. Utterly disgusting.


Ask yourselves why roads like military road were surfaced. Short answer, quick and fast. Paid by tonnage or by distance.
Then there’s Farley road…. take the top off and nothing but clay or slip underneath. They would be there forever. With no payment.
My bet is this road will be sub contracted out. Get out of jail card played.
Yes the road that have been done, do need redoing already, and all covers replaced, as they all rattle like mad.
Yep, we’ve all been mugged well and truly by this lot.

David ford

Languard road in Shanklin by Arthur Webster hospital with in weeks it was cracking up and now is just full of craters dinking further with every rain fall at one time you could drive around them but now it’s all over

Mr dissolutioned

Self monitoring island roads means they can get away with anything. They are cowboys. Never seen such underrated works ever. Wouldn’t last two minutes on the mainland. Someone’s getting big back handers from this cowboy company. And it’s time we had someone with brains running the council.


Does this mean that island roads have been payed over the last 7 years to up grade all of the road network, and if they have, how will the next 4 years be payed for?


Simple, up the council tax. Standard cure for everything Wight. 🙂

John Thomas

they could,nt put toffee on an apple nearly every road they have smeared a couple of centimeters of tarmac on are potholed, sunken, moved subsided broken apart they are too scared to do the main road from newport to ryde fairlee road as it needs full restuctioning its like going to a fairground the road down to redjet is a discrase the whole lot is a joke i bet someone taking a good back hander over this..still some carparks are nice no traffic on em…all to soon money all gone roads as they have always been like i said just… Read more »

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