Why Are You Paying 4x What Kier Charge Highways England?

Drivers, Fleets & Insurers are paying over £250/ hour for Kier Highways Ltd (‘Kier’) staff who are charged to Highways England at about £66 / hour.

When a vehicle damages a barrier and the repair bill is over £10,000, usually Highways England pay Kier, the charges are at ‘mates-rates’.

  • £25 / hour for an AIW (emergency incident attendance operative)
  • £16 / hour for their vehicle

But the cost is likely to be under £10,000 and below this threshold generally, Kier receive no payment from Highways England but must pursue the vehicle insurer or fleet (a ‘Third Party’) themselves. Kier will charge the Third Party about:

  • £73/ hour for an AIW (emergency incident attendance operative)
  • £35 / hour for their vehicle

Same staff, same plant, same job … very different charges.

Kier have written that their AIW’s cost them £58 / hour. Really? If this is true, they appear to be losing £33 / hour working for Highways England (£58 cost less £25 charged). If not, then it appears the £33 is profit … or profiteering?

Attempts to understand this post-October 2015 charging methodology have routinely been obstructed by Kier and Highways England. Before 10/2015, Kier routinely provided detailed information to justify their charging process (‘1153’) and demands for payment of invoices in full.  But we explained ‘1153’ was inappropriate and saw a 5-fold exaggeration of costs!  ‘Overnight’, post 10/2015, Kier went from pushing detailed financial records upon us to withholding data, assisted by Highways England.  Could the reason for Kier and the Public Authority acting in unison be they are seeking to clumsily hide misrepresentation?

Do the math’ … during early 2015 Kier volunteered that they had 38 AIW’s that cost them £2,857,934.49 / annum. That’s £75,208.80 each. These operatives work a 9-hour week, about £32 / hour. In October 2015, the charge, to insurers and fleets, more than doubled to over £70 / hour. Conversely, Highways England incur an annual ‘inflationary’ increase while insurers and fleets have seen a 100%+ uplift ….


So where does £250 / hour come from?   

If an incident happens after 5pm* of a weekday, Highways England are still charged the same rate. However, Third Parties are subjected to an ‘uplift’, a ‘multiplier’ of 1.5x, the rates charged to Third Parties are:

  • £109/ hour for an AIW (emergency incident attendance operative)
  • £35 / hour for their vehicle

It is claimed AIW’s always travel in pairs, you are charged for 2. Their hourly rate is therefore 2 x £109 plus £35, or a little over £250 whereas Highways England pay £66.


1153 Information – the devil is in the detail.  Does anyone else find it peculiar that, pre-October 2015, by reference to the 1153 presented by Kier, the annual charges of staff were:

  • £120,395.77 – Damage to Crown Property manager
  • £ 75,208.80 – AIW

 ‘Overnight’, after October 2015, the DCP manager was charged at less than an AIW?:

  • £55.75 / hour for the DCP Manager
  • £73.05 / hour for an AIW

*the next article will address Kier Highways ‘core hours’ … fact or fiction?

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