Highways England seeks Area 10 suppliers as change is in the air


Highways England is to hold a supplier day next month for three contracts or frameworks worth up to £580m in its Area 10 in the North West, in what could be the last asset delivery style contracts to be let for some time.

The contracts could also be the last to be let under Highways England’s approach to bringing asset management back in-house.

The A5036 on Merseyside

At an event late last year, Highways England’s asset delivery national roll-out director, Martin Hobbs. said he could not say when the next asset delivery contracts would be let after Area 10, which covers Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Lancashire.

‘What we are hoping to do is possibly go down a bit more of a progressive route. I’m not sure how that will take us forward but there will be more news about that perhaps in the new year when we start doing the tender activity in Area 10,’ he said.

Mr Hobbs suggested that future ‘refinements’ to the approach could include maximising the efficiency of maintenance and response contracts by including more capital delivery, changing the way Highways England appoints the principal contractor role, and making tendering less onerous.

A spokesperson for the government-owned company told Transport Network: ‘Each of our operational areas currently has different contracts, distinctive assets and individual operational priorities – therefore the path we take towards asset delivery will be tailored to regional needs.

‘However the outcomes of asset delivery, bringing in supply chain expertise to deliver our operational programmes, operating collaboratively and safely and improving our service to customers are the same.’

The Area 10 deals include a 15-year maintenance and response contract worth up to £326m, a construction works framework with an estimated total value £220m and a design services contract worth up to £34m.

Contract notices are expected to be issued in early March.

Highways England told Transport Network it will be providing an update on possible changes to asset delivery and the Area 10 procurement at a supplier industry event on 5th February at the DW Stadium in Wigan.

Area 10 contract details

Under the maintenance and response contract, Highways England is looking for a contractor to provide all routine and cyclic maintenance, incident response, defect rectification when instructed, and severe weather delivery on the all-purpose trunk roads and motorways in Area 10.

Additional duties will include the provision of traffic management for the contractor’s maintenance and response activities including traffic management during incidents and where it is instructed by Highways England, the facilities maintenance of depots and other locations within the region.

The construction works framework will be made up of a number of different contractors from different specialist areas who will work together to deliver network improvement and maintenance schemes on the strategic road network within Area 10. The contract is divided into lots with a maximum of two lots awarded to one tenderer.

Under the design services contract, Highways England is looking for a contractor to assist in the preparation of technical designs and undertake supporting work for a number of capital projects from initial scheme feasibility through to the as-built phase. This will include project enabling tasks and other similar duties.

The areas of design expertise that Highways England requires (but is not limited to) is as follows; structures, pavements, drainage, vehicle restraint systems, technology design and advice, environment, geo-technics, geometrical designs, lighting, traffic modelling, traffic signals, noise and air quality (including non-invasive surveys), preparation of contract (NEC3) and possibly NEC4 documents, site supervision (optional) and landscaping.

The pre information notices for the construction works framework and design services contract do not state the contract length. A construction works framework typically lasts four years, while a design services contract lasts five years.

To register your interest in the supplier day and to confirm attendance, email to: — Area10Procurement@highwaysengland.co.uk (maximum of 2 attendees), stating which of the contracts you are interested in.

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