Amey and Kier-Mouchel first winners under new highways contract regime

Highways England has announced the first contract awards of its new arrangement of motorway and trunk road maintenance being piloted in Area 7 in the East Midlands. Kier-Mouchel will provide design services through a five year contract worth at least £25m. Amey will carry out routine maintenance, road surface repairs and incident and extreme weather response through a contract that could be worth over £300m if it runs for its full possible tenure of 15 years.

The new Area 7 'asset-led delivery model' of maintenance and management is being introduced by Highways England after a series of problems with its Asset Support Contracts. Unexpectedly low bids in ASC tenders have led to Highways England splitting the full scope of work carried out in each Area into a number of smaller contracts, with management and decision making returning in-house to regional client teams.

Highways England director for commercial and procurement David Poole, said: “The awarding of these two new contracts represents a significant milestone for Highways England, marking a real change in the way we have previously managed contracts. Collaboration with our supply chain is key to our new way of working in the East Midlands and we are looking forward to establishing a successful, long-term relationship with the appointed contractors.”

Four sets of contracts are being let for work to be carried out in Area 7 starting from 1 July this year. In addition to the routine maintenance and design contracts, there will be a construction works framework – covering 14 different lots including general civil engineering, surfacing and traffic management – plus specialist goods and services contracts for items such as inspections, materials testing and weather forecasting. Highways England issued an invitation for SMEs to register interest in bidding for specialist work in Area 7 in February this year.