Jobs boost as £2bn road repair project starts to roll

MORE than 200 jobs will be created in a spin-off from Sheffield’s £2bn roads repair programme, it was predicted this week.

Work will be generated for supply companies linked to the scheme, which aims to bring all the city’s highways, footpaths, bridges and street lights and furniture up to standard.

Already an extra 170 jobs are needed for the contract to be carried out by the company, Amey, which is taking over the council’s Street Force.

This week Amey and the council bosses underlined their commitment to using local firms for the supply of new lamp-posts and street furniture.

Meanwhile, Aggregate Industries, based in the Lower Don Valley, will build and run a rail terminal at the Europa Link business park in Tinsley Park.

The facility will receive deliveries of stone for roads resurfacing, and it will recycle aggregates as existing surfaces are dug up.

Steve Robinson, the council’s head of highway maintenance for the Streets Ahead contract, said: “Streets Ahead will be good news for the local economy, bringing extra work for supply companies which could create more than 200 jobs.

“Meanwhile, we are looking at making use of new technology to make Sheffield’s streets cleaner and brighter places in the future.

“We will be replacing 18,000 pieces of street furniture, 2,500 of which are litter bins.

“The new bins will have technology meaning they will send an automatic alert to a control room once they are full. They will also be able to compact litter, giving them a higher capacity.”

Police say new LED street lights should improve public safety.

South Yorkshire Police Chief Insp Iain Chorlton said: “If an area is brighter, you are less likely to have acquisitive crime. CCTV images will be sharper and, because people feel safer, more residents will go out and about after dark, creating added deterrent to crime. It will also help officers dealing with incidents.”

The Government-financed highways Private Finance Initiative aims to get rid of all potholes and bring roads up to standard over the next five years, then Amey will also have the job of maintaining them for the next 20 years.

Work is starting in Shiregreen, before the contractors move on to Ewden, near Stocksbridge, and Carbrook in Attercliffe.

Graeme Symonds, network director at Amey, said: “We do have a lot of work to do but we are sure, once people see the end result, they will agree that any disruption has been worth it.”