03/09/2018 – Following concerns we have raised since 2016 about Kier Highways Ltd (Kier) charging for vehicle registration marks (VRM’s) cited in claim papers that were not, or could not, used for attending incidents or undertaking repairs, Highways England’s Chief Executive is, almost 2 years later, investigating. In an email copied to:
- Chris Grayling the Secretary of State for Transport
- Tom Tugendhat – Member of Parliament for Tonbridge and Malling
- The Office of Rail and Road (ORR)
- The Parliamentary Ombudsman
- Tim Reardon, Tim Highways England’s General Counsel
Jim O’Sullivan, appointed Chief Executive of Highways England in July 2015, wrote:
‘I can confirm that this matter is receiving my direct attention.’
The issue is not one that should have escalated to the CEO. We conveyed concerns to Highways England in late 2016 and the issue was publicized 19/01/2017 (Fleet News). We were ignored; despite attempts to have the issue addressed and many more instances of incorrect Vehicle Registration Marks (VRM’s) appearing in claims, Highway England fell silent. Rather than address the matter with their contractor, Highways England continued to provide their lawyers Corclaim(Shakespeare Martineau LLP) and Kier support and even issued proceedings maintaining their – ‘Authority to Act‘.
21/06/2017 we met with Sarah Green of Highways England at our offices. We conveyed our concerns about the systematic state-enabled exaggeration of claims, that Highways England assisted overcharging of Third Parties (drivers, fleets and insurers). The following day Sarah telephoned and referred to ‘fraud’, what we did not know, until recently, was that Sarah had also taken on board our concerns about the registrations being presented as though involved in emergency attendance and / or repairs, that Sarah had emailed Jim O’Sullian that this was ‘actually of some concern’.
It does not appear Jim thought so in 06/2017 … more than a year later and we had no response, until documents were disclosed among which was Sarah’s email to Jim.
For more information – click here.