Kier takes over interim Birmingham contract

03/02/2020
Dominic Browne

Kier has been brought in to manage the 15-month interim highway services contract in Birmingham after Amey's failed PFI deal in the city.

Kier Highways will be taking on the city’s traffic operations, planned and reactive maintenance, inspections and winter services from 1 April 2020 to 29 June 2021 with the contract expected to be signed in late February.

Officially Kier is taking on the contract on behalf of Birmingham Highways Ltd (BHL) - owned by Equitix and Pensions Infrastructure Platform, which were investors in the PFI's special purpose vehicle with Amey.

Birmingham City Council entered into a £2.3bn 25-year highways management and maintenance contract with Amey Birmingham Highways Ltd, now BHL, in 2010 under the Government’s PFI programme.

However, it ended in acrimony and a long-running court case which eventually found in authority's favour.

Amey Local Government Limited will be exiting the 25-year maintenance and management contract on 31 March 2020, following an agreement with Birmingham City Council and the BHL shareholders in June 2019.

BHL and the city council are in the process of procuring a 14-year full services contract, which will commence on 1 July 2021 and will cover operations, maintenance, improvement and renewal of the city’s highways network.

The full contract covers more than 2,500km of road and 5,000km of footways, as well as 846 structures, three tunnels, 94,000 street lighting columns, 76,000 highway trees and the city’s traffic control system.

Natasha Rouse, chief executive of BHL, said: 'We aim to achieve a seamless transition to our new provider while continuing to service the city’s highways network.'

Cllr Waseem Zaffar, cabinet member for transport and environment at Birmingham City Council, said: 'I am pleased that Kier has put a compelling and competitive bid to us to maintain the city’s highways. Its reputation as a leading national roads operator should give welcomed assurance to the people of Birmingham that we have put the safe and efficient servicing of our streets at the heart of this process.'

Joe Incutti, Kier acting group managing director for highways said 'We’re a trusted supplier and already operate in the midlands delivering maintenance to one of the most complex and busy highway networks in the UK, including Spaghetti Junction, which carries 60,000 vehicles each day.'

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