GIBB IS gearing up for an expected boom in design and build road schemes by forming pre-bid teams with several contractors.
The company has put agreements in place with contractors across different UK regions, in the hope that a team capable of bidding for a design and build, or design, build, finance and operate scheme can quickly be put in place. Technical director Glen Player said Gibb had already formed agreements with Kier, Nuttall, Miller and Galliford and is keen to form more.
Player said: 'We are responding to a change in market focus.
We have sat down with contractors, looked through the list of Highways Agency schemes coming up for tender and identified the ones where we could work as a team.
'The Highways Agency tends to favour consultants and contractors with some local knowledge and presence. These agreements will give us a local focus and knowledge of environment and ground conditions.'
Gibb is following the example set by Mott MacDonald which regularly works with Amec, McAlpine, Costain and Norwest Holst, and Parkman which works closely with Kvaerner.
Meanwhile Mott MacDonald is preparing for the anticipated increase in highway projects by teaming up with two other consultants to provide the combined resources to cope with extra demand.
Divisional director Clive Livingstone said: 'There are early discussions going on with two other consultants to work together as a team to share resources. It isn't a cartel but a question of sharing staff and resources over a period of time.
'Motts has already teamed up with Maunsell and Kvaerner Technologies as designer on the Costain/Skanska/Bouygues/ Mowlem bid for the Birmingham Northern Relief Road.
Other consultants this week said they were considering similar arrangements. Incoming president of the Institution of Highways and Transportation Alan Craig explained: 'The industry is generally a lot more relaxed about doing this now.'