Highways England reveals new in house roles as Area 7 deal goes out to tender

Highways England has published the tender for its new maintenance and response contract worth more than £300M, and running for up to 15 years, in Area 7, the East Midlands. At the same time the organisation has revealed the roles it is bringing back in house to beef up its control and understanding of the network.

The contract will be the first under a new set of arrangements in the East Midlands with the successful bidder expected to have a directly employed workforce and the skills and capability to deliver the main contract requirements.

It is the first of four in the East Midlands, with further contracts for design, capital works and specialist services to be tendered in the next three months.

The contracts will all begin on 1 July 2016, once the current Managing Agent Contract with Aone+ has expired. Highways England is  looking to boost its in-house capability through the recruitment of new staff - with a significant number expected to transfer from Aone+, a joint venture of Costain, CH2M and Colas.

Highways England staff will be taking on new roles including:

•  Definition of the cyclical routine work in a Maintenance Response Plan

•  Asset condition inspections and daily safety patrols

•  Identification of defects and the issuing of works orders

•  Updating asset database

•  Duty officer role to authorise repair works associated with incidents

•  Buying salt stock and providing brine saturator equipment

•  Production of the severe weather plan, including defining the winter depots and treatment routes

•  Making the decision to treat.

 “This is significant change in the way we work in the East Midlands. For the first time we will be taking control of our roads, directly engaging suppliers to help drive down cost and waste. This new way of working will help us develop a successful, long term relationship with the successful contractor for up to 15 years,” said programme director for Area 7 Jenny Moten.

The new approach in the East Midlands will sit alongside existing maintenance contract arrangements across the Highways England network. Asset Support Contracts are currently being procured in the South East (Area 4), North East (Area 12, South West (Area 1) and the North (Areas 13 and 14).

The tender can be found online here 


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