Liverpool Highways, Liverpool, P.LCC
Siemens and Huyton Asphalt have been appointed to complete two of the projects

Liverpool moves to complete stalled road jobs 

Dan Whelan

Highways projects totalling almost £5m remain unfinished after the city council’s previous contractor Vital Infrastructure Asset Management collapsed last month. 

VIAM, previously known as King Construction, brought in administrators Teneo, citing cashflow constraints as a result of disputed contracts. 

The company’s collapse meant five road projects in Liverpool were left uncompleted.  

The city council has now appointed a pair of companies to finish off two of the projects, and the search for contractors to complete the other three is expected to conclude within the next four weeks. 

Siemens has been appointed to finish work installing traffic signals on County Road and will be on site next week, the authority said. 

In addition, Huyton Asphalt is to complete the upgrade to Kingsley Road in Toxteth. 

For the remaining three schemes, which comprise upgrades to Walton Lane, Byrom Street, and the North Liverpool Key corridor, the council is to advertise tenders for the work on its procurement framework. 

Cllr Daniel Barrington, cabinet member for transport, said: “The stalling of these highways schemes has presented numerous challenges to resolve and to get them back on track. 

“With the ending of lockdown next month, it’s imperative we minimise any disruption.” 

VIAM’s demise came just two years after the firm generated £35m in revenues for the 12 months ended 31 March 2019, up from £23m the previous year. 

The firm also made a £795,000 pre-tax profit that year, rising from £615,000 in 2018.  

The company, which employs around 300 people, has not published a financial statement since then. 

King Construction’s infamous Tarmacademy scheme featured in the case studies section of Max Caller’s damning report into the running of Liverpool City Council’s planning, highways and regeneration departments.  

The Tarmacademy, which was never built, was a proposed training and apprenticeship facility for the construction industry. An additional element of the project, an asphalt plant operated by Cemex, is open and operational.  

Caller included the project as an example of poor practice by Liverpool City Council in relation to land deals, saying it demonstrated a lack of procedural scrutiny and a failure to produce a robust business case. 

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Has this caused the increase in atmospheric pollution that was recently reported in Liverpool. There’s hardly a journey into town that does not involve delayed queueing traffic.

By Man on bicycle

Let’s hope none have to rely on Highways England NW office or nothing will get done.

By Sid