Council-backed highways company passes milestone

Via East Midlands managing director Doug Coutts says the joint venture company has had a successful first year.
Via East Midlands managing director Doug Coutts says the joint venture company has had a successful first year.

A highways and engineering company established by Nottinghamshire County Council has celebrated a successful first year in business.

Via East Midlands was set up with the Cornwall Council’s Corserv to offer design consultancy, construction, fleet management, environmental and maintenance services.

It is the first joint venture of its kind to be seen in the UK, and managing director Doug Coutts hailed the achievements of the organisation since it launched in July 2016.

He said: “Via’s first year has been a huge success, delivering services to both Nottinghamshire residents and commercial customers.

“The transition of services, knowledge and experience from Nottinghamshire County Council and Corserv has been seamless.

He added: “I’m extremely pleased with what we have achieved and it would not have been possible without our great team of staff.”

“We are delighted to continue great relationships with officers, members, residents and road users, giving us a sound platform to develop, meet future growth needs and become more sustainable.”

In the last year, Via undertook over 35,000 road and pothole repairs in the county and trained over 13,500 local young people in road safety.

Its school crossing patrols made over 60,000 crossings, while the energy efficient lighting scheme implemented in partnership with the county council saved 11million kilowatt hours of electricity and £1.3m of savings per year.

It has a state-of-the-art training centre running courses for clients across the Midlands, and has worked with housing developers, energy firms, district councils and other public sector bodies.

Its success means the company has been able to generate a profit and return funds back to local government.

Councillor John Cottee said: “A well-maintained, safe highways network is essential for our road users so we are pleased with the work so far - and with our recent £1m roads investment, we hope to make even bigger improvements for our residents and businesses.

“Our staff work closely with Via to deliver a good quality network at value for taxpayers’ money.”