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New entrants target Highways England regional framework

Highways England is planning to appoint 12 delivery partners to carry out all roads work across six regions when its current CDF framework comes to an end. 

Construction News understands that the client is currently consulting suppliers over the new Regional Investment Programme, which will see firms bid for 12 spots across six regions.

Companies or joint ventures will bid for a dozen Delivery Integration Partner roles to take on a series of projects within each region.

There will be two DIPs per region, as well as two technical advisers to support the development and design of each project.

It is understood that the contract will last four years, with an option to extend by a further four dependent on performance.

In May, Construction News reported that Highways England was developing plans to shake up its procurement, including the regionalisation of enhancement works.

The new procurement routes will replace the Collaborative Delivery Framework, which was launched in 2014 to cover all enhancement works on the UK’s roads.

However, it will be scrapped when it reaches its £5bn OJEU limit, which is expected by December 2018.

The changes mirror the regionalised procurement route currently being used for consultants for the remainder of the CDF.

McAlpine takes fresh look at roads

Highways England’s fresh round of procurement has encouraged a number of firms that are not currently on the Collaborative Delivery Framework to target roads contracts through the new framework.

Sir Robert McAlpine is understood to have completed Highways England’s Strategic Alignment Review Tool process – the process completed by the majority of contractors aiming to work with Highways England on maintenance or enhancement projects.

The contractor last year revealed that it was targeting a return to its civils roots by aiming to secure a fifth of its revenue from civils work by 2019 .

Spanish giant Acciona has targeted highways as a way of gaining a foothold in the UK market, while Colas, known more for its maintenance roads work, is also eyeing future Highways England’s project work.

In May, CN reported that Highways England would be adopting an alliancing model for its smart motorways programme.

It is now understood that this will take the form of a national alliance of contractors that will deliver all planned smart motorway enhancement projects.

Major projects such as the A303 Stonehenge Tunnel and the Lower Thames Crossing will be procured outside of the RIP programme.

It is understood that the Treasury is currently looking at private finance models to deliver both schemes.

Construction News reported in July that the Treasury had taken the decision to develop a design, build, finance and maintenance deal for the A303 tunnel.

A Highways England spokesperson said: “Work to develop future procurement routes for our capital programme is ongoing and no firm decisions have been made on how the different elements will be structured or procured.

“Our suppliers play a vital role in helping us both to deliver savings and work efficiently and effectively, which is why we have been working with them for some time to develop our ideas for procuring capital work going forward.

“With their feedback, and following our Routes to Market event in May and subsequent webinars we’ve hosted, our procurement solution for the Regional Investment Programme is progressing well.”

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