Problems hamper early phase of improvements for Sheffield

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TEETHING problems have led to delays in the first phases of Sheffield’s new 
£2 billion Streets Ahead contract.

Private firm Amey has taken over road and street maintenance from Sheffield Council’s Street Force team.

However, while resurfacing work has started ‘well’, with Shiregreen, Ewden and Carbrook already benefitting, Amey said issues affected day-to-day work formerly carried out by Street Force.

There has been a ‘backlog of maintenance’ and ‘minor performance issues’ have affected litter picking in the city centre.

Progress of the contact was discussed at a meeting of Sheffield Council’s environmental and economic wellbeing scrutiny board.

Steve Robinson, council head of highway maintenance, said: “Most areas have performed well. Work has started in the three zones as planned.

“There was a backlog of maintenance found at commencement of the contract, such as gullies not cleaned and that is taking a while to get on top of.

“Some jobs Street Force started didn’t get handed over with all the information, so some works’ finish dates indicated previously could not be delivered, but that was not as a result of Amey.”

Mr Robinson said there had also been ‘teething problems’ in setting up a new call centre to handle public queries.

He said there had been ‘frustration about the length of call times and some defects reported were lost’.

Mr Robinson said Amey is holding twice-weekly meetings with staff to resolve ‘service issues’.

But the council said there have also been ‘some examples of good performance’ with Amey’s community steward receiving applause at a meeting with Shiregreen residents about progress of resurfacing.