THE HIGHWAYS Agency has said it had no doubts about awarding its fifth road maintenance contract to Amey last week despite the contractor's financial worries.
Amey, which admitted to a debt of close to £200 million in December, beat Nuttall to the area 13 contract, valued at about £150 million over five years.
Along with partner Mouchel, Amey now looks after five of the Agency's 14 roads maintenance areas. One rival said: 'I'm a bit surprised Amey got area 13, given the state of its problems.'
But Highways Agency procurement director Steve Rowsell said: 'We checked out Amey's position as far as we were able.
'They're not having any exceptional difficulties delivering services on the existing jobs so that gave us some reassurance.'
Area 13 covers 660 km of road in north-west England, including the M6 and A66. The contract is due to start in July.
n Amey's shares hit a year low of 19.5p last Wednesday before rallying to close at 22p.