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Roads on the Rise

With the Autumn Budget announcing more cash for local authorities and Highways England recently awarding several new contracts with more in the works, the highways sector is going to be extremely busy for the foreseeable future. Despite the concerns that the axing of PFI might spell the end for privately financed highways projects, a steady stream of highways work is on the horizon.

Major Highways Projects Awarded

As Highways England’s Collaborative Delivery Framework (CWF) reaches an end, the new Routes to Market Regional Delivery Partnership is stepping in to replace it. This week saw 13 contractors awarded £8.7bn in the new regional framework, with the first tranche of 18 packages of work spread almost evenly across the country. A second procurement phase for the Regional Delivery Partnership is expected imminently, focusing on route option development. Many of these projects have been through design and will soon start focusing on mobilisation for construction, requiring construction managers, quantity surveyors, and commercial staff with highways experience.

Figure 1 - The Routes to Market Regional Delivery Partnership Winners

Figure 1 - The Routes to Market Regional Delivery Partnership Winners

Figure 2 - Routes to Market Tranche 1 Projects

On the Horizon

Just last month, Amey was awarded the £325 million Maintenance and Response contract for the former Area 10 (now Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire and South Lancashire) which will begin in April 2019. The current contract is set to end in March 2019, and the Design Services and Construction Works Framework contracts are still to be awarded in the coming months. With a major contract change like this, staff are likely to be required across a range of roles as the contract gets up and running, such as engineers, project managers, commercial and site managers.

The Smart Motorways Programme is also due to launch a new delivery model by the end of the year. And with the recently announced Major Road Network fund – which has revealed the first five projects which are expected to start construction in 2020-2021 – and there will soon be great demand for highway design engineers to get these projects ready for site.

Add in the £420m promised to local authorities for highway maintenance in the Autumn Budget, and new projects in Wales and Scotland – such as the Heads of the Valley dualling and the A9 dualling between Luncarty and Pass of Birnam – and it’s a good time to be a highways professional, no matter where you are located in the UK.

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About the Author

Steve Thomas
Construction Recruitment Director, UK & Canada
I am responsible for the Maxim Recruitment office in the UK where our team of recruitment consultants specialise in the recruitment of quantity surveyors, commercial managers, delay, dispute and claims consultants for civil engineering and building contractors and specialist construction consultancies.  I am also responsible for growing our recruitment operation in Canada and the USA where we are increasingly busy.  I have over 20 years’ experience in construction recruitment and enjoy working on both contingency and search/headhunting assignments for our repeat clients.
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Email: steve@maximrecruitment.com

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