VINCI Ringway has been revealed as the company that will take charge of the Isle of Wight’s roads, pavements and cycleways for the next 25 years under the multi-million pound Highways PFI scheme.
The announcement was made this evening at a Council meeting at County Hall, Newport.
The deal means that VINCI Ringway have been tasked with maintaining vital sections of the Island until at least 2038, including iconic roads such as Military Road, Bouldnor Road and the Undercliff at Niton.
The contractor has also revealed tonight that it will fund bursaries of over £1500 for civil engineering courses and 55 apprenticeships across the Island.
Under the PFI scheme, all roads, pavements and cycle ways will be resurfaced and maintained, as well as the replacement of 12,000 streetlights with low energy bulbs. In addition, the scheme will see the upgrading and maintaining of all 209 bridges and 621 retaining walls, drainage, street furniture, signs, street nameplates and road markings, traffic signals, grass cutting and street maintenance, winter maintenance and highways emergencies.
The contract will also include all CCTV cameras that are on the highway network and these will be linked into a central control room, that will also provide around the clock coverage of the approaches to Yarmouth Harbour bridge to allow it to be opened remotely should the need to do so arise at times other than those agreed with the harbour master.
Eurovia Group, whom Vinci Ringway are part of, have already submitted controversial plans for an asphalt plant on the banks of the River Medina.
Speaking out after the announcement, WRAP East Cowes (Wight Residents against Asphalt Plans) said: “We are not completely surprised the contract has gone to Vinci given the timing of the planning application for the asphalt plant.
“Vinci’s existing proposal is utterly inappropriate for the beautiful River Medina, is totally flawed and has received over 400 objections to date.Even IW Council Officers have concerns at the lack of hard facts submitted by Vinci and the four Councils on either side of the Medina have objected on the basis of dangers to the their electorate’s wellbeing.
“We hope the Council and Vinci can work together to find an appropriate site, or come to a common sense agreement with the existing provider in Blackwater”.