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Highways Agency awards delayed maintenance contract

The Highways Agency has today revealed that it has awarded the delayed Area 6 asset support contract (ASC) to contractor Amey.

The between £30M to £40M a year contract covers maintenance and improvements to 980km of motorways and ‘A’ roads in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.

Amey will take over from incumbent Skanska when the contract starts on 1 April next year. Skanska took over responsibility for the contract when it acquired Atkins’ highways division earlier this year.

The Highways Agency in January was forced to extend the tender submission deadline for its Area 6 ASC because of continuing delays in awarding the contracts for Areas 2 and 10.

“I am delighted that we have awarded the fourth ASC contract which represents a major step forward in the way that maintenance and improvement activities are carried out on England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads,” said Highways Agency asset delivery director David Brewer.

“ASCs are more outcomes based and less prescriptive, enabling our suppliers to be more innovative about the way their services are delivered.

“Better value is what we are looking for - from our contractors, on behalf of the taxpayer. The key point is that the roads they manage on our behalf continue to be maintained to high standards and that we receive good value for every pound of public money which is spent.”

The previous three ASCs awarded went to Atkins/Skanska (now Skanska alone), Balfour Beatty/Mott MacDonald and EnterpriseMouchel.

Amey chief executive Mel Ewell said he was “delighted” at the win.

“We have a long and proud history of successful strategic highways service delivery and this award underpins our commitment to remaining a key service provider to the Highways Agency,” he said.

He said Amey’s innovative solution will provide a “cost­effective” and “flexible” service.

Streamlined processes, better use of technology, cutting edge plant and equipment and collaboration with the supply chain will ensure delivery of the service is fully aligned with Highways Agency requirements.

Features of the new contracts include:

  • maintenance standards which are ‘outcome based’ and less prescriptive about how and when work is delivered
  • affordable levels of service, with appropriate quality but no reward for over-delivery
  • incentives for innovation and efficiency, including the opportunity for contract extensions
  • simplified pricing mechanisms with a ‘year on year’ cost reduction mechanism
  • a higher cost threshold for works to allow more procurement through the ASC rather than by separate tender
  • managing technology maintenance and improvement works through the main contract for more efficient and joined up delivery.

 

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