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Highways England launches new contract model, with first framework worth £8.7bn

Balfour Beatty roads go sign

Highways England has launched a new £8.7bn Regional Delivery Partnership framework, which will be a cornerstone of its relationship with the supply chain for the second UK Road Investment Strategy (RIS2) until 2024.

The government body said the new contract model has been developed as part of the wider Routes to Market programme and will replace the collaborative delivery framework (CDF), which reaches its headline value in 2018. It will see regional delivery integration partners appointed to deliver schemes such as conventional road widening and junction improvements.

The first framework under this model, worth £8.7bn, will be divided into eight lots, each with its own budget and geographical area. The contracts will be under the NEC4 standard terms and run from 2018 until 2024.

The work packages in lots 1 to 3 are for contracts below £100M and those in lots 4 to 8 are for projects exceeding £100M. However, restrictions have been placed on the number of contracts which can be bid for, with candidates applying for projects in lots 1 to 3 not permitted to bid for contracts in lots 4 to 8.

Under the terms of the contracts, successful bidders will be guaranteed an initial package of work under each lot with subsequent contracts allocated either on a direct award basis or under mini competition which may include suppliers on any other lot.

Lots 1 to 6 are expected to have two successful tenderers appointed to them, while lots 7 and 8 will have three.

Across all work packages, successful bidders will be expected to carry out a range of different activities ranging from preliminary design to giving specialist advice on whole life costing and future maintenance or inspection requirements and provisions, and enabling works to digital platform transformations.

In total, 18 bidders are expected to be appointed to the framework with most schemes expected to be allocated within the first three years.

Highways England procurement director Sharon Cuff said: “To achieve our ambition over the next decade we must deliver a large number of major road improvement schemes, and the relationship we have with our suppliers is critical to the success of these schemes.

“The new contract model we are launching today puts collaboration at the heart of the relationships necessary to deliver the Road Investment Strategy at the scale and pace required, and I urge all of the supply chain to engage.

“We want to be a client of choice in the sector, and recognise the important role our supply chain plays in helping us to shape and innovate within our new procurement models defined under routes to market.” 

The eight lots:

Lot 1: South West and Midlands (under £100M)

Successful tenderers in this lot will be awarded with a package of work between £25M and £83M with each package having two or three individually named schemes to be delivered by 2024. The estimated total value is £200M.

Lot 2: South East and East (under £100M)

Work in this lot will be between £78M and £94M with each package having two to three individually named schemes. The estimated total value is £350M.

Lot 3: North (under £100M)

Successful bidders to lot 3 will be given projects with an approximate total value of between £36M and £67M. Each package will have 1-2 individual named project schemes. The total value is expected to be around £200M.


Lot 4: South West (more than £100M)

The total value of this lot is £800M

Lot 5: Midlands (more than £100M)

The total value of this lot is £1.25bn

Lot 6: South East (more than £100M)

The total value of this lot is £1.1bn.

Lot 7: East (more than £100M)

The total value of this lot is £2.8bn.

Lot 8: North (more than £100M)

The total value of this lot is £2bn.

The roads strategy was set up in late 2014 and the first period runs from 2015 to 2020 and RIS 2 will run until 2025. 

In December last year, the government published its Strategic Road Network initial report and supporting documents as a first step for setting the RIS2 agenda. Projects expected to be included in RIS 2 are:

  • Northern Trans-Pennine — the A66 and A69 corridors
  • Trans-Pennine tunnel — linking Manchester to Sheffield
  • Manchester north-west quadrant — the M60 from junctions 8 to 18
  • A1 east of England — from the M25 to Peterborough
  • Oxford to Cambridge expressway
  • M25 south-west quadrant


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