TOPAS: Updating tender documentation requirements

10/09/2020
Dominic Browne

Traffic Open Products and Specifications Limited (TOPAS) has urged procurers to check tender documents and revise them to meet the current requirements.

The body, which has been in existence since 2014 and was created in response to the withdrawal of the requirement for Type Approval by the transport secretary, publishes its procurement specifications online for access by manufacturers and procurers.

It aims to ensure the maintenance of standards for products on the highways in the UK and to support procurers in their purchase of products which have been deemed to comply with the most up-to-date UK legislation.

In a statement it said: 'TOPAS has been made aware that unfortunately due to lack of sharing of information, tenders and other specification documents still contain requirements to outdated standards and specifications. This in itself should not be a major problem, since manufacturers are required to comply with UK standards in production.

'However, there is an issue when manufacturers are asked to produce to those outdated standards, regardless of any new requirements. Indeed, in some cases, required to manufacture products that neither meet old standards, new standards or TSRGD.'

In particular, TOPAS warned that no references should be made to the pre-existing TR specifications or Type Approval since this has not been required since the commencement date of TSRGD 2016.

It added that street works permits should be requested under the Statutory Guidance for Permit Schemes National Conditions July 2020.

Highways England, Transport for London and the majority of local highway authorities require TOPAS registration in framework documents and all local authorities in the UK have been advised of this through various means.

The Department for Transport, Welsh, Scottish, and North Ireland Governments have also all highlighted the importance of TOPAS specifications following the withdrawal of Type Approval.

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