Area 6 & 8 Time Line

Amey managed the Areas but subsequently, not making money, reached an agreement to hand the contracts back.  It appears Highways England is keen to keep secret the exchanges leading to this conclusion

13/02/2017 – just before the handover, an incident occurred.  Some of Amey’s 02/2017 rates can be found here

24/03/2017 – Highways England Full Business Case Investment Decisions Area 6 and 8 Asset Support Contract (full document – 6 8 Decision). This includes the statement:

The above conveys ‘notable increases’ for, as an example, INCIDENT RESPONSE.  This is a basic DCP (damage to Crown property) function.  Clearly there are rates being used by Amey and rates being presented by Kier Highways; a comparison has been undertaken.  This being an ASC, the charges to Third Parties are to be compiled by use of Appendix A to Annex 23 equation:

Defined Costs £ + Third Party Claims Overhead (TPCO) % = Maximum £

However, (date) Highways England have explained that

01/04/2017– The Areas were ‘gifted’ to Kier Highways Ltd

Area s 6&8 is an ASC (Asset Support Contract) that is subject to Appendix A to Annex 23. It is therefore subject to ‘Defined Costs’

27/03/2019 – Tim Reardon, Highways England’s General Counsel wrote:

As you note from your discussions with Jim, Highways England is working on a schedule of repair costs for typical instances of damage to the strategic road network, or DCP. This new schedule of costs, which we intend to publish on Highways England’s website in April this year, will be piloted in Areas 3, 7 and 9 with a view to national roll-out. The new schedule of costs makes no distinction between above threshold and below threshold claims. All future claims in those Areas will be taken forward on the basis of the new schedule.

In Area 9, Kier have withheld bringing new DCP claims since January this year. Those outstanding claims will be taken forward on the basis of the new schedule of repair costs

Why are Areas 6&8 not mentioned:

  • Area 9 and 6&8 are managed by Kier
  • the charges rates are the similar or the same

08/04/2019 – Highways England state:

The investigation revealed a lack of transparency in the pricing of Green Claims in Area 9, citing the lack in the Asset Support Contract of any schedule of rates (labour or materials) for third party repairs.

So what was reviewed 24/03/2017 (above) and why was the lack of any schedule of rates not noted 2 years ago?

26/04/2019 – These questions were posed to Highways England General Counsel, Tim Rearden – email here.