National Highways has announced deals with 50 supply chain partners worth up to £3.6bn for renewals work on England's motorways and major A roads.
This work comes under the Government-owned company’s new six-year Scheme Delivery Framework (SDF).
The framework covers 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 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.'
Approximately 23% of the overall framework value has been awarded to SMEs, National HIghways said, with a strong focus on social value 'ensuring that suppliers are measured on their contribution and impact socially within each region'.
Key themes included helping local communities to recover after the impact of COVID-19, creating new businesses, new jobs and new skills and 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 also supports the delivery of National Highways’ decarbonisation, sustainability and environmental ambitions by aiming to limit repeat maintenance, reduce the exposure of the workforce to traffic and reduce 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
In each band there are between two and seven lots, with 16 lots in total. The lots are subdivided into geographically focused sublots.
Award values for the 50 suppliers vary between £1m and £144m, demonstrating the range of contractor size with SMEs working alongside larger companies.
For further information about the Scheme Delivery Framework see the contract page online.