The Highways Agency has been forced to extend the tender submission deadline for its Area 6 Asset Support Contract (ASC) because of continuing delays in awarding the contracts for Areas 2 and 10.
The Agency had promised to announce the award of the contracts for highways maintenance in the south west and north west in early December. But these awards have been consistently delayed, which has now caused a knock-on effect on firms wishing to tender for the next tranche of maintenance deals.
The client had originally told contractors wishing to tender for Area 6 but also tendering for Areas 2 and 10 that they had to assume that their bids for 2 and 10 had been successful. This is because the Agency places strict limits on the market share that any one contractor can have.
This effectively barred a number of experienced firms, including Amey and AOne+ (comprising Colas, Costain and Halcrow) from tendering the Essex and Cambridgeshire Area 6.
The Agency has now refined its instruction and allowed all firms to tender Area 6, and has given firms an extra four days to tender. Tenders must now be in on 13 January.
Its statement now reads: “With reference to the market share limit please note that the Highways Agency is also assessing tenders for the Area 2 and Area 10 ASCs; the potential of an applicant company being awarded the Area 2 or Area 10 ASC will be factored into the market share limits application for the Area 6 ASC at the point that the tender list is finalised.”