National Highways today announced deals with 50 supply chain partners to carry out up to £3.6 billion worth of renewals to keep England’s motorways and major A roads running safely and smoothly. This work is awarded as part of the government-owned company’s brand new six-year Scheme Delivery Framework (SDF).
The framework will enable the delivery of renewals across a range of activities, including substantial civils work on barriers and drainage, traffic management activities and design services for a range of projects. It replaces the soon to expire existing contract mechanisms, known as the Construction Works Framework (CWF), Design Services Contracts (DSC) and Asset Support Contract (ASC).
Duncan Smith, Acting Executive Director for Operations at National Highways, said: “Today’s announcement marks the start of a new way to keep the country’s motorways and major A-roads in top condition by delivering the largest and most comprehensive renewals programme we have ever embarked on. The Scheme Delivery Framework will allow us to deliver these vital activities, ensuring the Strategic Road Network remains safe and serviceable, so road users can continue enjoying the benefits of smooth, reliable journeys.”
This new approach enables a diverse pool of suppliers of all sizes to work directly with National Highways. Approximately 23% of the overall framework value has been awarded to SMEs, so creating a secure pipeline of work and increasing innovation across the board.
Social value was inherent throughout the procurement process ensuring that suppliers are measured on their contribution and impact socially within each region.
Key themes include:
*Helping local communities to recover from the impact of Covid-19
*Creating new businesses, new jobs and new skills
*Tackling workforce inequality
Mr Smith added: “The framework offers a blend of large capital work along with smaller specialist opportunities that maximises the ability for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to develop a direct relationship with National Highways, driving growth within the industry and introducing more innovation.”
The SDF supports the delivery of National Highways’ decarbonisation, sustainability and environmental ambitions across its renewals programme. It limits repeat maintenance, reducing the exposure of the workforce to traffic and reduces the overall cost of maintaining the network. In addition, as part of mobilisation, awarded suppliers will develop carbon reduction plans.
The framework is split into four bands:
Band A – Civil Engineering and Drainage
Band B – Temporary Traffic Management and Road Restraint Systems
Band C – Specialist works
Band D – Design
Within each band there are between two and seven lots. The lots are then subdivided into geographically focused sublots. Award values for the 50 suppliers vary between £1m and £144m, highlighting how the framework enables SMEs to operate side by side with larger companies.