16 July 2007 | Paul Snell
Road building and maintenance in the East Midlands should become cheaper and "more efficient" through the establishment of a new body.
The Midland Highways Alliance (MHA) is a collaboration of 10 local councils and the Highways Agency. It hopes to make contracts 10 per cent cheaper and speed up procurement by working together.
The Leicestershire County Council-led group plans to make the cut using pre-negotiated contracts for maintenance and capital projects.
Launched tomorrow, the MHA will spend £50 million through regional frameworks in its first year. In a planned second phase this figure could reach over £300 million if West Midlands councils join the scheme.
"We recognise the benefits of collaborative working particularly in the procurement of major transport infrastructure projects. This will provide not only improved value for money, but better highways services," said Nicholas Rushton, Leicestershire County Council's cabinet member for highways and transportation.