New street cleaning initiative across Wokingham borough

Paths and pavements across the Wokingham Borough are getting back to their best following the start of a new street cleansing contract. Residents and neighbourhood groups in Lower Earley have already seen the benefits of the new partnership with Urbaser, with work focused around Hawkedon Primary School.

School and housing estate entrances, as well as along major roads, have all been identified as areas where increased work has been required to brighten up the borough. It’s been part of a raft of improvements introduced by the new contractor to significantly and immediately improve the look and feel of the borough which residents see they are out and about.

Urbaser has been carrying out the work since the contract began on 1 April, working hard to introduce the improvements despite restrictions due to COVID-19. Its work includes a combination of mechanical and manual street and open space cleaning; cleaning public car parks and subways; removing fly tipping; and cleaning up for special events.

The company is subcontracted by VolkerHighways, the council’s highways and transport maintenance and construction contractor. It has been working with the council since April last year and already works in partnership with Urbaser to provide street cleansing services in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

The company, which will have the contract for six years, has received accolades for the quality of its work in the nearby borough following results from the National Highways and Transport Network (NHT), which ranked the borough as second best nationally for the cleanliness of its roads and third best nationally for the cleanliness of its pavements.

“We know how important it is to our residents to see the borough is well looked after, especially in key areas such as around schools and at the entrances to residential areas,” said Cllr Parry Batth, executive member for environment. “Staff from Urbaser have really hit the ground running with works across our area and I look forward to seeing the high standards sustained for years to come.”

“Providing this service through our existing highways contractor VolkerHighways has helped us transition to the new provider almost seamlessly,” said Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways and transport. “It will also increase efficiency in the years ahead for our roads and pavements, as highway maintenance and highway cleansing are naturally linked services.”

The new contract with Urbaser also includes:

·         A new fleet of vehicles

·         Grade A standard for sweeping litter & detritus on all adopted roads, footways, traffic islands and cycleways

·         Assurance that all litter bins are emptied on time and that flytipping is removed within set timescales

·         Easy monitoring of:

o   Scheduled sweeping

o   Litter bin emptying

o   Highway herbicide treatment

o   Flytipping removal.

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