Highways England’s decision to move away from outsourcing asset support contracts in certain regions and managing the work itself has opened new opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
Highways England decided last year to return to a more traditional procurement model in a number of areas including the East Midlands, taking direct responsibility for managing its contractors and making its own decisions on maintenance needs.
While SMEs might have a role as subcontractors for Highways England’s management contractors, they will be working directly for the client, for example providing surveys on drainage, topography and trees, as well as surveys on road surface condition and material testing.
In the East Midlands, the search for just such contractors is officially under way.
Interested suppliers are invited to register an interest with Highways England via the Highways England e-sourcing portal so they can be alerted when packages of work become available.
Highways England is to hold a briefing day for SMEs on 23rd February 2016, to provide an overview of the proposed approach to procuring technical surveys and testing, and an opportunity to ask questions about the process.
To register an interest in the briefing day, or for further details, email Area7ProcurementEnquiries@highwaysengland.co.uk
Procurement director David Poole said: “We are tasked with delivering the largest roads investment programme in a generation and for us to deliver on such a scale at the same time as maintaining the strategic road network, we have to work in a flexible, responsive and efficient way.
“This new procurement approach in the East Midlands is representative of Highways England’s commitment to really changing the way we deliver maintenance and investment over the next five years.”
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