Engineering suppliers have hailed a major milestone in fair payment practice, with £10bn of roads work now awarded to be paid through project bank accounts.
Highways England revealed that £10.4bn of contracts had been issued with these arrangement in place since 2012.
Project bank accounts allow clients to pay into ringfenced funds that subcontractors can access directly when completing work.
Highways England aims to use the system for £20bn of work by 2020, ensuring sub-contractors are safeguarded from insolvencies up the supply chain, and paid within 19 days.
The client body – formed in April – is to use project bank accounts for designers, engineers, traffic modellers and national vehicle recovery contracts.
Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group chief executive Rudi Klein said: “The construction industry owes a debt of gratitude to the team at Highways England that has been responsible for achieving this remarkable performance.
“Project bank accounts are the most effective mechanism for ensuring that supply chain SMEs are in regular and timely receipt of their cash. Other initiatives such as fair payment charters have proved to be a waste of time and effort.”