Ringway Jacobs replaces Amey on Central Beds highways

Central Bedfordshire Council has handed Ringway Jacobs a seven-year highway maintenance deal under a new form of contract.

Ringway Jacobs takes over on 1st April 2016 when the contract of the current maintenance service provider, Amey, expires.

While Amey has been operating under a managing agent contract (MAC), Ringway Jacobs’ contract is a term maintenance plus (TMC+) contract based on highways maintenance efficiency programme (HMEP) documentation. The council expects this to give it greater control and influence of what happens on its highways network.

Despite being funded by taxpayers, the contract value has not been disclosed. The initial tender documentation put the estimated contract value at between £10m and £20m a year, suggesting that it could be worth £140m to Ringway Jacobs over the full term.

A TMC+ differs from a MAC, in that the council takes on a more prescriptive role with increased monitoring. This therefore requires a larger client team. The new client team will consist of staff TUPE’d from Amey and an enhanced contract management team. A larger client team will enable the council to manage the contract better. It is envisaged that posts relating to asset management, highways IT systems, customer liaison and audit will be brought in-house from Amey to facilitate contract delivery.

Central Bedfordshire Council director of community services Marcel Coiffait said: “Ringway Jacobs provided the council with the most economical and advantageous tender and their efficient way of working will enable us to better communicate with residents.”

However, Ringway Jacobs was not the preferred contractor for lots two and three of the council’s highways contract, for grass cutting and vehicle maintenance. These services will now be secured through a separate procurement exercise, the council decided.