Skanska and John Laing, under a 50/50 consortium, have today announced that they have been appointed Preferred Bidder for the Croydon & Lewisham Street Lighting PFI project. This is the second street lighting PFI that the consortium is involved in following financial close of the Surrey Street Lighting project at the end of 2009.

The clients for the project are the London Boroughs of Croydon and Lewisham. During the next phase, negotiations will be concluded and financing arranged. Contract award and financial close is expected to be reached during spring 2011. For the Skanska-Laing Consortium the contract would mean responsibility for the design, build, finance and operation of the stock of lighting columns and illuminated street furniture across the boroughs of Croydon and Lewisham for a period of 25 years. Skanska UK would carry out the design, installation and ongoing operations and maintenance works.

During the next phase, negotiations will be concluded and financing for the project arranged. Contract award and financial close is expected to be reached during spring 2011.

Following formal award of the contract, during the first five years of the project, the Skanska UK team, which has combined its experience in infrastructure services, utilities and public realm works, will replace approximately 38,000 street lights and 8,000 street signs and bollards. Work also includes the refurbishment of a further 4,000 street lights. During the 25-year scheme, which is expected to start in July 2011, Skanska UK would also be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the street lighting stock, including the provision of help desk services and emergency response.

The project will provide new improved and energy-efficient street lighting across the boroughs, which will directly support better road safety, deliver an improved night time environment and economy, and help reduce street crime and anti-social behaviour.

The Central Management System – a key part of the solution – will provide a high level of control enabling street lighting levels to be varied in real-time from a central control station. This will provide a number of benefits to the community, such as the ability to enhance light levels in specific locations at peak times, improved visibility in response to an incident, remote fault detection, lower carbon emissions resulting from reduced night scouting activities, electricity metering and Authority access to the reporting system.

Steve Sams, Executive Vice President of Skanska Infrastructure Development UK said: “We, together with our partners, are delighted to have been appointed Preferred Bidder for this important scheme. We are looking forward to working together through the next stage and ultimately to provide safer, energy efficient public lighting services for the people of Croydon & Lewisham.”

John Laing’s Head of Transport, Andy Pearson, said: “This is an important scheme which will ensure that communities within the Boroughs of Croydon and Lewisham will have well lit streets. Not only will the project strengthen the local economy but it will also create safer streets. We look forward to working with the Councils and Skanska to deliver an efficient, ‘best in class’ and value for money street lighting service to the residents and ratepayers of Croydon and Lewisham.”