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Highways England to shake up procurement

NCE stock roads

Highways England is to move away from a one-size fits all Collaborative Delivery Framework (CDF) procurement approach, towards a programme based approach, New Civil Engineer understands.

So far it has committed spend on the CDF of £3.69bn and it is anticipated that by December 2018 there will be no further capacity on the framework which has an upper budget of £5bn. In 2014, 26 companies across 4 lots were appointed to the CDF. The lots cover professional design, engineering and construction and it is Highways England’s biggest framework. Recently, Highways England has been in talks with suppliers to work out how it can deliver the rest of the first Roads Investment Strategy (RIS1) which runs until 2020.

New Civil Engineer understands that procurement will now move towards a programme-based approach, covering four areas:

  • Conventional widening and junction improvements, also known as the Regional Investment Programme (RIP)
  • Smart motorways programme
  • Complex infrastructure projects; and
  • Maintenance and improvement activities.

Procurement of the regional investment and smart motorway programmes will be run separately.

The procurement of the smart motorway programmes will be through an alliance arrangement and will start in the first quarter of 2018, with an expected finish date of spring 2019.

Regional investment partners will start to be procured and appointed by the end of the year, with contracts for the first schemes awarded next summer - this is likely to involve dividing up geographical areas and packaging up the work.

Maintenance and renewal programmes will be delivered through the Asset Delivery Model and this model is already in place in some areas, for example the East Midlands and more recently the South West.

Big infrastructure projects, such as the Lower Thames Crossing will be independently procured through conventional routes.

  • Hear more on Highways England’s procurement revamp at New Civil Engineer’s UK Transport event on 28/29 June. More at


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