Two highways depots to close in Shropshire

Two highway depots are to close in Shropshire, with council bosses promising the move will 'free up money' that can be reinvested in work to improve roads in the county.

Under the proposals, the depots at Bridgnorth and Hodnet would close, with operations continuing at the three main depots in Whittington, Shrewsbury and Craven Arms.

Shropshire Council says no jobs will be lost, and modelling has demonstrated that there will be no detrimental impact on services to those areas currently covered by those depots.

The authority says it is typical of a council area of Shropshire’s size to be serviced by two to three highway depots and it will bring improvements.

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “The decision to close these two depots was taken to help provide a more effective service and as part of our wider operational improvement plan, and wasn’t driven by cost savings.

"Indeed, the reduction in overheads will free up money that can be reinvested into our work to improve Shropshire’s roads.”

The focusing of operations from three depots in Oswestry, Shrewsbury and Craven Arms means that the council and its contractor Kier can be co-located.

The council says this will bring benefits such as better communications, oversight and consistency across the board, and will lead to improvements in the quality of work and engagement with other organisations.

Centralising teams is also expected to increase the operational resilience of the service during staff absences, as well as improving the management of the health, safety and wellbeing of staff.

Each of the three remaining depots will be managed by an area manager from both Shropshire Council and Kier, supported by local technicians and supervisors.

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