Highways England Fails to Address Area 9 Exaggeration

Following the allegations and corroborative information provided to Highways England 22/06/2017 relating to Area 9 charges being:

  • non-complaint with the contract
  • uplifts amounting to fraud

After over a year, Highways England fails to comment on the specifics, Jim O’Sullivan, appointed Chief Executive of Highways England in July 2015, responding 21/09/2018:

I can tell you that the investigation into Area 9 Green Claims has concluded. Tim Reardon has written to Kier and other service providers operating under Asset Support Contracts reminding them of the need to charge the reasonable cost of repairing the damage to the road network, and making the point that costs which appear to be over-inflated, too remote from the damage or which duplicate other costs can expect to be struck out by a court.

We are also looking at the processes for Green Claims’ recovery generally with a view to presenting insurers with clear evidence of damage and comprehensive cost pack information for each claim much earlier.

We have taken your allegations seriously and we have reminded service providers of their legal obligations. The court is the appropriate forum in which to challenge any costs you disagree with.

As the claimant in Court proceedings, it is Highways England who are seeking the exaggerated costs or charges that are not incurred.  It is the Public Authority that could and should put their own house in order. The over-inflated and duplicate charges presented on many (all?) claims, should not appear in the first place

Highways England are very aware the Courts are NOT the appropriate place to address matters.  Highway England’s own witness, as we explained 06/2017, was prepared to assist Highways England’s claims at Court and misrepresent facts to a Judge – click here for more information.  It is not a level playing field as third parties are kept from information and subjected to false statements.

Over a year to ‘investigate’ issues which, in about 2 hours we evidenced.  Our allegations may have been taken seriously, there is no suggestion they were unfounded, but they are paid lip-service to and the practices continue.

We have asked to be provided a copy of the letter sent, to date it has not materialized.

Highways England have yet to comment upon whether:

  • they have ensured Kier Highways are complying with the charging process contractually agreed in Area 9
  • AIW’s (and other operatives) work shifts and
  • AIW’s are paid the uplifts that Highways England, the claimant, are demanding to be paid

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