The Isle of Wight Council is in a contractual dispute with its PFI highways service provider, Island Roads, over what is reported to be a ‘significant’ amount of money.
Island Roads is a partnership established by the Isle of Wight Council, VINCI Concessions, Meridiam Investments and Ringway and started providing highway maintenance services from 1 April 2013, although it ran in trouble in just over a year.
The BBC report that Isle of Wight's Cllr Phil Jordan said today's news comes after ‘a year-long attempt at resolving identified contractual issues finally concluded unsuccessfully in October’.
The council and Island Roads have now ‘formally entered into a contractual dispute’ over the 25-year PFI deal.
In a statement the council said: ‘The PFI Board, which includes representatives from both the Isle of Wight Council and Island Roads, agreed to proceed to a process of formal dispute resolution concerning a number of contractual disputes within the 25-year highways PFI contract for the Isle of Wight.
'This process is provided for in the terms of the contract and the detail of any issues dealt with by the dispute resolution process is confidential during the adjudication process.
‘The matters for dispute centre on the interpretation of the extent of Island Road’s responsibilities under the contract. The process is expected to take a number of months to come to a resolution.'
An Island Roads' spokesperson said: ‘The process of adjudication is not unusual for contracts of this size and scope, however we have sought to avoid this position through our negotiations with the Isle of Wight Council.
‘We wish to reassure residents that our programme of highway improvement work continues as usual.’
It is understood the council and contractors have the right to enter in to court proceedings after the process.