The Highways Agency has set out a revised timetable for contractors bidding for asset support contracts (ASCs) in areas 1, 4, 12, 13 and 14.
Last week the HA told contractors that it was ending the current tender process for ASCs in areas 1 (south west), 13 (north west) and 14 (Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Durham & North Yorkshire) after some of the elements of the bids “raised concern”. These areas are worth more than £800 million in total while areas 4 (Kent and Sussex) and 12 (Yorkshire and north Lincolnshire) are worth around £825m.
Contractors are now being invited to tender for areas 4 and 12 by mid-March and areas 1, 13 and 14 by the end of June.
The HA is also planning to change the way it works with its supply chain in area 7 (East Midlands), after deciding to separate the way it manages and runs the design, routine maintenance and construction work carried out on the network in this locality.
A spokesperson for Highways Agency said: “We are committed to continually driving improvement in how our roads are maintained; improved and operated so that we can provide the best possible quality of service to road users.
“As we go forward we will be using contract arrangements that best suit the particular type of work required.
“Asset support contracts are one key part of the Agency’s ability to successfully deliver its objectives and we have successfully awarded six such contracts which are now operational in various parts of the country. We believe that by incorporating lessons learnt from our experience of these we will be able to award further ones which will be able to fully support the delivery of a significant increase in investment over the next five years. The procurement programme for the existing asset support contracts will continue with a revised timetable with Areas 4 and 12 being invited to tender by mid-March and areas 1, 13 and 14 by the end of June.
“At the same time we recognise we need to take more ownership of investment decisions and increase our intelligence on local factors that influence where work is most needed. This will also help drive down cost; remove waste and provide the best possible value for money for taxpayers.
“We have an opportunity to do that where a contract is coming to the end of its term in the East Midlands, and so we will review the way that we work with our supply chain there to deliver maintenance and small improvements by separating how we manage and run design, routine maintenance and construction.”