Road Projects must consider the environment, and wider social and economic issues

Now that The Highways Agency has bcome Highways England it is interesting to note that tenders from consultants and contractors are being assessed purely on quality terms providing bidders meet the Highways England’s target price.

Their Director of Complex Infrastructure, Chris Taylor, has been quoted as saying: ‘The change from the Highways Agency to Highways England comes with wider responsibilities. We are going to be held to account on how we treat our customers, stakeholders, local communities and the environment. It brings a step change in the whole agenda and this is being reflected in our new wider expectations from contractors on delivery of major projects.’

When awarding contracts for a recent project, Highways England had to remind bidders of these key criteria which contractors had to address, with the need to see more focus from them on skills and economic development within local communities.

This is interesting, as a while back I made more or less the same points to Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce about the way in which any new Lower Thames Crossing ought to be designed and procured. That is, it must be considered from the earliest moment as much more than just a project which connects point A with point B.

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