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Highways England Area 7 to go in-house in 2016

For background on this please refer to Litter on motorways and trunk roads

In an October 2014  briefing note to the incoming Chairman of Highways England, Colin Matthews, I strongly criticised the way the Agency managed its area maintenance contractors. I said that the contract itself was defective. The contract was later suspended for contracts coming up for renewal.

In an 11th February 2015 report to him, and the outgoing CEO, Graham Dalton, I went further and wrote:

I would recommend that as the old area contracts expire you take maintenance in-house. The Agency could take over the premises, equipment and staff of the outgoing contractor. A common set of standards and reporting could then be maintained across the network. Ideas that work in one area could be quickly shared across the network. Changes in working practices and new technology could be implemented without having to renegotiate terms with a myriad of contractors. A layer of management would be removed. The Agency would get closer to the customer.

In a response from an Agency executive of 17th March I was told:

.. a great deal of the work that is currently underway mirrors the suggestions in your letter…  Taking maintenance in-house – .. we are reviewing the model that we use to maintain and operate the motorway … in the east of the Midlands region (Area 7)

I contacted the current contractor for Area 7, A0ne+, today and was told by the  Abnormal Loads contact, Lucy Martin, that when the current contract terminates in June/July 2016 the area would be managed directly by Highways England.

I have learnt from another source that this is a one -off experiment and other area contracts are being renewed.

Peter Silverman
8th April 2015






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