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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Bidding to start for rejigged £2.7bn Birmingham highways contract

Birmingham City Council will open bidding next week for a new contractor to deliver its restructured £2.7bn PFI highways upkeep contract.

The tender process for a new partner contractor will start promisingly on Valentine’s Day.

Since Amey came to a settlement to end their involvement in the contract, the council and PFI concession holder Birmingham Highways Limited have worked to give the procurement performance criteria a makeover cutting scores of KPIs to make it more attractive to the market.

The whole tender process for the remaining 12-year PFI contract term has been structured to run over a period of nine months to give bidders sufficient time to carry out full due diligence.

This will be supported by the updated Management Information System, BHL and BCC implemented during the interim period.

The MIS collects data from across the road network to provide a greater understanding of current conditions and areas for improvement.

Bidders will be provided with access to this information via a data room.

Birmingham originally signed its 25-year, highways management and maintenance contract back in 2010 with Amey.

But following a lengthy performance dispute with the council which ended in March 2020 with Amey paying £215m to extricate itself from the PFI.

Kier stepped in as interim contractor while the council and PFI special purpose vehicle owned by Equitix and PIP Infrastructure Investments work busily to set the stage for successful reprocurement of the remaining 12 years of delivery from April 2023 to June 2035.

CEO of BHL, Natasha Rouse said: “We had a successful supplier day, which gave us an opportunity to present key aspects of the updated and restructured contract to the market.

“The positive response and engagement from key market players gives us a good foundation for the start to procurement process on Monday 14 February.”

Assistant Director (Highways & Infrastructure), Kevin Hicks of Birmingham City Council, said: “The interest and engagement we have seen from across the industry in response to the suppliers’ day has been extremely encouraging.

“In addition it has demonstrated the resolve amongst all contractors with respect to their commitment to work with us and focus on delivering the best possible set of highway services for people of Birmingham.”

The invitation to bid will be advertised on the Government’s UK Find a Tender service.

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