Peterborough’s highways team on the road to success

A roadworks sign for Bourges Boulevard works
A roadworks sign for Bourges Boulevard works
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Leader of Peterborough City Council Cllr John Holdich:

Keeping the city’s roads in tip top condition is an utmost priority for our highways team and they do a sterling job all year round.

Thanks to their hard work, the council has been ranked as the top highway and transport authority in the eastern region for the second year in a row.

The authority scored highly in the 2018 National Highways and Transport (NHT) survey which asked residents across the country for their views on highway and transport services.

The NHT conducts the survey each year to determine public satisfaction on service delivered by local authorities.

Peterborough City Council was ranked as the best highway authority in the eastern region and nationally was ranked 27th out of 112 highway authorities.

At national level PCC was given a 55 per cent satisfaction score, with the average being 53 per cent.

I would like to say a big well done to the team and I know that they will continue to ensure that the city’s roads are in the best possible condition.

On the subject of highways, I was also delighted to hear that local roads requiring urgent repair work will soon be upgraded thanks to government funding.

The Department for Transport announced recently that a total of £1.53 million will be handed to our highways team for road repairs during the current financial year.

The team is currently assessing which roads will be repaired and we should be able to confirm these in the coming weeks.

Some of our rural roads which are built on peat and clay subsoils have suffered this year due to extreme changes in the temperature following the cold winter and long dry summer.

The team completed a series of extensive drought damaged road repairs earlier this year and this additional money will help to further repair other affected roads, which is great news for motorists and cyclists.

I would like to remind road users to please keep us informed of any potholes that you spot on your travels, the easiest way is to report them online at www.peterborough.gov.uk/forms/report/.

Another success story of recent times has been city firm Westcombe Engineering.

The company, which manufactures precision engineering components and is wholly owned by the council, has seen sales rise by 60 per cent over the last three years.

Originally established back in 1970, the firm’s unique vision is to create skilled employment opportunities for people with disabilities, giving them the knowledge and skills to pursue careers.

I’m pleased to say that their recent successes have allowed them to expand their workforce by taking on two new apprentices.

Their continued growth and success will be achieved by attracting talented individuals to join their existing highly skilled and experienced workforce. So this is fantastic news and I wish their new recruits all the best.

Peterborough’s fascinating history will be charted in an exciting new project which we’ve started work on with our partners Vivacity.

‘History of the City’ will see a number of video interviews recorded with men and women who have helped to shape our cityscape over the years, including yours truly.

The first interviewee was Sarfraz Khan, who was the council’s head of engineering for many years.

Sarfraz is responsible for much of the city’s infrastructure that you see around you today, including roads, houses, car parks, roundabouts and underpasses. He’s also the man behind much of what you don’t see, such as the city’s extensive sewer network.

He’s certainly got some interesting tales to tell, so look out for his interview which will be published on Vivacity’s website www.ourjourneypeterborough.org as well as our social media channels in the coming weeks.

Finally, I was honoured to be appointed to the Local Government Association’s eastern region management committee, having been approached thanks to my vast council experience.

The committee provides strategic direction for the east of England LGA, which oversees 52 authorities in the region, supporting to them to be the best they can be for their communities.

The committee’s next meeting takes place shortly and I look forward to contributing to this valuable organisation.