Highways England has completed the contractual process to bring key asset and operational management functions for the East Midlands Area 7 in house, with the award of the final two contracts for the region.
The news marks a milestone in the Government-owned company's contractual strategy, which has undergone a difficult transition over the last two years.
Asset Support Contracts (ASC) - which were designed to replace the Managing Agent Contractor (MAC) model with a more flexible innovative system - faltered last year when five major ASCs worth more than £1.5bn had to be retendered.
Highways England takes more direct control of roads for the first time
After these difficulties, the then Highways Agency decided to change tack with Area 7, leading to what is now Highways England taking control of the roads and directly engaging suppliers for the first time.
The latest contracts awarded structural inspections and weather forecasting to Rogers Structural Inspections and the Met Office respectively, after the appointment of suppliers to the new framework for delivering construction works in the East Midlands last month.
The structural inspections contract is estimated to be worth up to £3m over five years and will deliver against a programme defined by the East Midlands team.
The weather forecasting contract – jointly developed by Highways England’s National Winter and Severe Weather Team - has an expected value of £1m and will run for a minimum of three years.
It will include the new Area 7 forecasting service and the national forecasting service and involves embedded forecasters located at Highways England’s National Traffic Operations Centre (NTOC) throughout the winter.
David Poole, director for commercial and procurement at Highways England, said: ‘Working with our supply chain partners to establish the community will be pivotal to the success of the new approach to asset maintenance and delivery in the East Midlands. I am looking forward to working collaboratively with our new colleagues from the supply chain over the coming months and years.’
Highways England is working with all the successful contractors to ensure they are mobilised and ready to begin delivering key services from 1 July 2016, when the current contract with Aone+ runs out.