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Mace mulls HS2 phase 2b legal challenge


Mace is understood to be considering challenging High Speed 2 Ltd’s decision to appoint CH2M as development partner for phase 2b of the project.

Contractor Mace was part of a joint venture with consultant Turner & Townsend which put in an unsuccessful bid, losing out to CH2M.

A spokesperson said the firm was “looking closely at its options”.

These options include posing a legal challenge to the award. It would have until 20 February – the end of the post-contract award standstill period – to lodge such a challenge.

“As a British owned company, we were naturally disappointed with HS2’s decision and are looking closely at our options,” said the spokesperson.

“We felt our experience working on the third runway at Heathrow, the London 2012 Olympics and Hinkley Point C, combined with our strong presence in the North of England, would have been an asset to successfully completing this important British project on time and within budget.”

Questions about were raised about HS2 Ltd’s decision to award the contract to CH2M because of the project promoter’s links to the company. CH2M director Roy Hill is currently HS2 Ltd’s interim chief executive. He is soon to be replaced by fellow CH2M director Mark Thurston, who will become permanent chief executive. CH2M is already working as development partner on phase 1 of the project.

HS2 Ltd pointed out that it had put in place meaasures to avoid conflicts of interest.

It also added that it had not yet received any notification of legal challenges, but said that it had received a series of questions from one of the bidders.

An HS2 Ltd spokesperson said: “We confirm that HS2 Ltd has received a request for information regarding the proposed award of the role of development partner for Phase 2b. These types of questions are not uncommon during the standstil.

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