Kier gets on its bike to speed up repairs
CONTRACTORS are pledging to speed up repairs at council houses – by buying a moped to deliver extra parts.
Kier Stoke is investing in a scooter to deliver extra taps, light fittings and door handles to council houses where work is underway.
The firm hopes it will save time as workmen will not have to drive back to Kier's Northwood depot to pick up spare parts or arrange second visits to properties because they do not have equipment with them.
IIt comes afterThe Sentinel revealed last month how Kier and Stoke-on-Trent City Council have agreed to buy an industrial cherry picker to carry out repairs on security lights and roofs – to help cut a £1 million bill for scaffolding used on jobs where ladders are banned due to safety fears.
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Electricians who are carrying out small jobs at council properties will be able to alert the firm's depot to other minor repairs like broken window handles.
It means a depot worker can deliver the parts using the scooter without contractors being forced to order the parts and book a second visit to carry out the extra repairs.
The system will operate like a takeaway delivery with a target of providing parts within 20 minutes.
Councillor Dave Conway, leader of the opposition City Independents on the city council, questioned whether one moped can make a major improvement to the speed of the repairs service.
He said: "First cherry pickers, now mopeds for carrying doorknobs and taps. What will Kier and the council think of next?
"It's funny how they can't allow somebody using a ladder to repair security lights at a bungalow because of health and safety but they're now going to put blokes on scooters."
Kier says the move will also help the firm meet its carbon reduction targets as the scooter produces half of the carbon emissions of a van and will cut down on the number of trips made.
Mark McGill, Kier's logistics manager, said: "Reducing our carbon footprint is essential for the future of our business.
"The addition of a scooter will help in our carbon management and assist in making a positive contribution to our local environment.
"Scooters are small and efficient and this will further increase the effectiveness of our service."
Kier says the switch from a van to the moped will save more than £15,000 over the next five years but haven't said how much it cost to buy.
Retired secretary Margaret McDonald, aged 69, , of Tunstall, said: "If it helps them get about quicker and save money then I think it's a good thing, but I'm not sure how much difference it will make."
Kier said it may buy more scooters and extend the moped project to other parts of the country if its trial in Stoke-on-Trent is a success.