Highways England’s Court Fiasco

HE forces insurers to go to Court to challenge ‘reasonable’ rates, then ignores the guidance subsequently provided by the Court?


Highways England, having failed to agree on rates with insurers, or more likely, the Authority being directed to undo them (the NSoRC) by contractors whose profiteering was at stake, issued proceedings on multiple cases. Discarding the NSoRC, their own ‘reasonable rates’ (compiled following months of analysis), they tried to force unreasonable rates upon Third Parties. To assist the contractor, Kier Highways, they backdated a variation on the contract.

With the Authority and their contractors failing time and time again to address hackneyed issues, expecting a Judge to sort the wheat from the chaff, they obviously did not intend to have their stance questioned. However, they were put firmly in their place; the Judge saw through the unreasonable schedule of rates and settled upon a set of costs presented by the insurers expert.

Why anyone would be surprised by the Court’s finding remains a mystery – even the Authority’s own expert witness agreed the ‘sums claimed are too high’! The judgement is similarly clear; ‘allowing claimants to set their own market for cases of this sort might be regarded as undesirable’.

Read more about Highways England’s Unreasonable Rates here

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