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Highways England to launch £7bn roads framework in spring 2017

Tendering for a new multi-billion-pound roads framework will open next spring, Highways England has revealed.

The framework will be worth up to £7bn and cover the remainder of Highways England’s Roads Investment Strategy.

It will see the roads operator “move away” from the secondary competition model currently being used on its £5bn Collaborative Delivery Framework.

The plans were revealed last week by Highways England’s head of procurement Sharon Cuff.

Speaking at a roads event, she said the agency would be consulting with industry on plans for a new procurement method to cover the remainder of the Roads Investment Strategy.

The £15bn RIS was launched in 2014 by the then Highways Agency. It was hoped that the majority of this work would be covered by the Collaborative Delivery Framework.

In April, Construction News revealed that Highways England would have to launch a new framework in anticipation of CDF reaching its £5bn threshold before the end of 2017.

One change Highways England has committed to for the new framework is removing secondary competition.

Sources have told Construction News that “mini-competitions” had added to bidding costs and stymied collaboration across the CDF.

Ms Cuff admitted this had been a “bug bear” for contractors and consultants and said the agency would want to focus more on “value-based procurement”.

She added that it was important to “take time” over the future framework and ensure the industry was consulted thoroughly over any changes.

This consultation will be carried out in the autumn as part of Highways England’s Route to Market initiative.

The initiative will set out how the supply chain can become involved in shaping the new framework, with more information to be released later this month in Highways England’s updated procurement plan. 

Balfour Beatty, Carillion and Costain are among the 26 companies spread across CDF’s four lots (see box).

Both UK and foreign-owned firms not involved in the first CDF are already gearing up to bid for places on the new framework.

Speaking at the same event, Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan responded to industry fears that Brexit would have an impact on roads contractors, saying he was not concerned.

He said: “Highways England is business as usual and I am very confident that our delivery programme will remain intact through the next five years.”

Highways Agency CDF winners

Lot 1 - Design & Engineering Services (indicative total spend £500m)

  • Amey
  • Arup
  • Atkins
  • CH2M
  • Hyder Consulting (UK)
  • Jacobs Engineering UK
  • Mott MacDonald / Grontmij JV
  • Mouchel
  • URS Infrastructure and Environment (UK)
  • WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff

Lot 2: Delivery of schemes ranging from £0m to £25m (indicative total spend £450m)

  • EM Highway Services
  • Geoffrey Osborne
  • Interserve Construction
  • John Graham Construction
  • VolkerFitzpatrick

Lot 3 (a): Delivery of schemes ranging from £25m to £100m (Indicative total spend £1.15bn)

  • Amey LG
  • Galliford Try Infrastructure
  • Hochtief (UK) Construction
  • John Sisk & Son / Lagan Construction Group JV
  • KierConstruction
  • Vinci Construction UK (trading as Taylor Woodrow) / Vinci Construction Grands Projets JV

Lot 3 (b): Delivery of schemes ranging from £100m to £450m (Indicative total spend £2.9bn)

  • Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering
  • Bam Nuttall / Morgan Sindall JV
  • Carillion Construction
  • Costain
  • Skanska Construction UK

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