New £7bn roads framework announced

Highways England will launch a new framework for £7bn of road improvement contracts in spring 2017, the government owned operator of roads in England has said. According to reports in Construction News, the HE's head of procurment Sharon Cuff announced the new framework at a highways industry event last week.

The HE's Collaborative Delivery Framework currently provides for procurement of major and medium sized road improvement contracts and professional services, but its £5bn scope was identified as inadequate to cover the full scope of the HE's five year, £15bn investment programme, soon after the CDF was launched.

The new framework is expected to cover both professional services and a range of contract sizes, but with a reduction in secondary tendering, according to Construction News. Bidding for places on the CDF has been recognised as highly demanding on time and cost for contractors and consultants, many of whom have not yet seen much reward for their efforts. Many of the contracts subsequently let through the CDF have also demanded lengthy secondary tendering, which has become a principal complaint of the HE's current system of contract procurement.

A process of consulting with industry on development of the new framewor is expected to start through the HE's Route to Market initiaitive in the autumn od this year.