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Birmingham highways - Kier to step in | BUILDING MAGAZINE

Birmingham highways – Kier to step in

Having parted company with Amey, Birmingham City Council has agreed an interim deal with Kier to look after its highways for the next 15 months.

Kier Highways has been appointed as preferred bidder to manage the highway services contract for Birmingham Highways Ltd (BHL) from 1st April 2020 to 29th June 2021.

The contract, expected to be signed before the end of the month, includes the city’s traffic operations, planned and reactive maintenance, inspections and winter servicing.

Amey Local Government is quitting its 25 year maintenance and management contract on 31st March 2020, following an agreement with Birmingham City Council and the BHL shareholders in June 2019.

The council and BHL, which is owned by Equitix and Pensions Infrastructure Platform, are in the process of procuring a 14 year highway services contract, which will start in July 2021.

Birmingham City Council entered into a £2.3bn 25-year highways management and maintenance contract with Amey Birmingham Highways Ltd, now BHL, in 2010 under the government’s private finance initiative (PFI). The contract covers more than 2,500km of road and 5,000km of footways, as well as 846 structures, three tunnels, 94,000 street lighting columns, 76,000 highway trees and the city’s traffic control system.

BHL, chief executive Natasha Rouse, said: “We look forward to working with Kier. The company has put together a robust offer that demonstrates its ability to provide a good quality of service and mobilise quickly and efficiently. We aim to achieve a seamless transition to our new provider while continuing to service the city’s highways network”.

Joe Incutti, Kier’s managing director for Highways, said: “We are delighted to have been named preferred bidder for the Birmingham Highways contract and have a wealth of experience in successfully designing and maintaining local authority roads. We’re a trusted supplier and already operate in the midlands delivering maintenance to one of the most complex and busy highway networks in the UK, including Spaghetti Junction, which carries 60,000 vehicles each day”.

Birmingham city councillor Waseem Zaffar, cabinet member for transport and environment, said that Kier’s “reputation as a leading national roads operator should give welcomed assurance to the people of Birmingham that we have put the safe and efficient servicing of our streets at the heart of this process”.