The Strategic Road Network (SRN)

Highways England (HE) is responsible for the operation, improvement, maintenance, renewal and repair of the strategic road network. This work is carried out for HE by contractors.

Contracts are divided into 12 numbered areas.

Prior to 2012 the relevant contracts were known as “MACs”; from 2012 MACs were phased out and replaced by contracts known as “ASCs”.

Under MACs and ASCs contractors are responsible for carrying out DCP repairs.

Where the DCP repair cost is less than £10,000 (“below‐threshold repairs”), the contractor may recover its costs by bringing a claim in negligence against the third party who caused the damage.

A lump sum is payable under ASCs for a range of maintenance and repair services, including the cost of DCP repairs in below‐threshold claims where costs cannot be recovered by the contractor from the third party who caused the damage (e.g. because they cannot be identified). The lump sum is fixed at the start of the contract. It is subject to annual adjustments but does not vary by reference to costs actually incurred or recovered for DCP repairs.

Where the DCP repair cost is more than £10,000 (“above‐threshold repairs”), the contractor recovers its costs directly from HE. HE may then itself sue the third party to recover the costs; such claims by HE are known as “green claims”.

Historically, some above‐threshold repairs were carried out by contractors under MACs and in early ASCs on a “target cost” basis with associated “pain/gain share”. This is also the costs basis used for most scheme (planned) work under the contracts. Since 2012 the operational norm has been for above‐threshold repairs to be carried out on a “costs reimbursable” basis which does not include pain/gain share. That has been the default contractual position under ASCs since 2015, although both ASCs and MACs permit above‐threshold repairs to be carried out on a “target cost” basis.

There are thousands of DCP repairs carried out each year on the network, of which hundreds are above‐threshold repairs. In Area 9 alone there are on average 167 above threshold repairs each year.

source: Appeal Ref. EA.2020.0321 and 0322 (skeleton)