In some road maintenance/repair agreements between contractors and Authorities (Councils or Highways England), a kind of ‘excess’ situation exists, there are two regimes in operation to recover monies from those who damage the highway or ‘street furniture’ (barriers, traffic lights, guard rails etc.):
- Where the costs are under £10,000 the contractor undertakes the repairs and must be repaid (recover) from the driver, fleet, haulier or their insurer (Third Party)
- Where the costs are over £10,000 the contractor is paid by the Authority who recovers from the Third party.
In 2018, HHJ Godsmark made an observation about a contractor’s charging methodology for billing following attendance upon and reinstatement of the highway following an incident, commonly a collision, fire or spill:
It would be odd if a tortfeasor (Third Party) was liable to Highways England (Authority) for diminution in value of a damaged chattel in one sum if sued by Highways England (The Authority) itself and in a different sum if sued by Highways England (an Authority) via BBMM (the Authority’s contractor).
But this ‘odd’ procedure is the Kier Highways Ltd. model; for the same works, low ‘mates rates’ to their client (the Authority) and higher prices to a Third Party. Several Authorities operate the above model and have been at pains to obstruct a better understanding of the pricing. Rather than have contractors comply with the ‘one rate for all’ methodology, some Authorities have assisted the continuance of the ‘them and us’ approach.
This latest request and updates can also be read here.
TfL ref. FOI-0586-2122
Further reading on the subject of Kier Highways claims – Why are Kier holding out some pricing as ‘CECA rates’ given CECA say ‘no they are not’? Read more here.