As part of its groundbreaking Regional Delivery Partnerships framework, Highways England has signed contracts worth £435 million with Galliford Try to deliver two major road upgrades – the A47 corridor improvement programme around Norwich and Peterborough and the Sparkford to Ilchester dualling scheme along the A303 corridor in Somerset.
Contracts within the framework to deliver the major projects fall into two categories – Band A (less than £100m) and Band B (more than £100m) categories – and the £300 million A47 contract and £135 million A303 Sparkford to Ilchester contract are the first Band B deals to be announced as part of this new industry-leading approach announced by Highways England last year.
The announcement follows two earlier Band A contract awards – £61.4 million to Geoffrey Osborne Ltd to upgrade the A46 at Binley in Coventry, and £52.4 million with VolkerFitzpatrick to deliver a series of improvements along the A27 near Lewes in East Sussex.
Peter Mumford, Highways England Major Projects Executive Director, said:
“I am absolutely delighted to announce the signing of these latest contracts as part of the Regional Delivery Partnerships.
“These are among 13 companies that will be working with us to deliver these important road projects, safely, and with our customers in mind. To achieve this we have worked hard to create alignment between ourselves and our supply chain, focusing on the behaviours that support us to achieve our shared goals.
“This is clear evidence that new ways of working are being embraced by the market, which is now seizing the opportunity to work in a more integrated way with us, representing a fundamental change in the way we deliver our road projects.
“We will continue to work with the supply chain and look forward to completing and announcing more contracts in due course.”
The deals have been set up using the Routes to Market Regional Delivery Partnership, with the 13 companies – known as Delivery Integration Partners (DIPs) – working on 18 packages of schemes across the country.
Duncan Elliott, Managing Director of Galliford Try Highways, said:
“We’re delighted for this opportunity to further strengthen our relationship with Highways England in schemes which will bring such a huge benefit to their customers. The appointment underlines the strategic importance of highways to our construction business and the vast experience, expertise and resource we can offer in this sector.”
The A47 improvement programme stretches from the west of Peterborough to Great Yarmouth and involves three sections upgraded to dual carriageway and two junction improvements. Subject to planning consent, the programme is scheduled to be completed in 2024.
In Cambridgeshire, approximately 1.5 miles of the A47 between Wansford and Sutton will be upgraded to dual carriageway and there will be an improvement of the roundabout at the A47/ A141 junction in Guyhirn. In Norfolk,1.5 miles of the A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham and around 5.5 miles of the A47 between North Tuddenham to Easton will be dualled, while the A47/A11 Thickthorn junction will also be upgraded.
The A303 Sparkford to Ilchester scheme is currently awaiting planning consent and due to start construction in March 2020.
The proposal is to dual a three-mile single carriageway section of the A303 between Sparkford and Ilchester, with new two-level junction access with local roads and communities, cutting congestion, reducing journey times, protecting biodiversity and improving access and safety for all road users.
As part of the Government’s Road Investment Strategy, Highways England is committed to upgrading all remaining single carriageway sections of the A303/A358 between the M3 and M5 to dual carriageway standard.
As well as the A303 Sparkford to Ilchester scheme, plans are also being taken forward to upgrade the A303 between Amesbury and Berwick Down and the A358 between the M5 at Taunton and the Southfields Roundabout on the A303.