New contract model for strategic road network abandoned in East Midlands


Highways England has abandoned plans to bring in a new Asset Support Contract (ASC) for the East Midlands, and intends to move forward with a set up that will bring control of maintenance arrangements in-house.

A Highways England spokeswoman confirmed that the deal for Area 7 would not replace the current Managing Agent Contractor (MAC) with an ASC, despite the fact they have been rolled out to six other areas across the country.

The news comes after the tendering process for five major ASCs, thought to be worth more than £1.5bn, had to relaunched earlier this year.

Officials at the former Highways Agency revealed that there were concerns about the stage 1 finance evaluation of the tendering process.

Transport Network reported at the time that the strategic roads authority would be ‘taking more ownership of investment decisions’ on the Area 7 East Midlands deal.

ASCs are a new model for the strategic roads authority and had been celebrated by officials for offering a leaner, cheaper contract set up designed to foster innovation.

Industry briefings will be held on the 2 and 3 June and 13 July in the East Midlands to discuss the arrangements, which could see several contractors operating in the region rather than one major firm. No venue has been chosen yet for the events.

Highways England could not comment further on the issue during purdah. 

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