Amey starts £300m Highways Agency contract

Road users across the West Midlands will this week begin to benefit from a change to how Highways Agency services are delivered in the region.

From Wednesday 1 July, the Highways Agency’s new Managing Agent Contractor (MAC) for area 9, Amey, will start its £300m, five year contract.

The role of the MAC is to carry out operational and routine maintenance services and deliver improvements on the motorways and trunk roads in the West Midlands. Amey will also undertake the role of West Midlands TechMAC, a role which includes improving the technology systems and equipment across the region. Having a combined MAC and TechMAC will add value for the Highways Agency and the road user by providing an integrated service with greater efficiency.

At the same time as Amey begins its new contract, the Highways Agency’s Area 9 boundaries will be changed to include two-thirds of routes currently covered by a separate contract, matching the boundaries of the existing Government Office for the West Midlands.

The new contract will deliver larger, better equipped incident support vehicles to replace the current hi-visibility vans. These will be fitted with GPS tracking equipment and CCTV to send live feeds of incidents to the network control centre. The vehicles also carry traffic management equipment including cones and signs, scene screens to prevent rubber-necking at incidents and can be loaded with ‘tank matting’ which provides additional space off the carriageway on roads without hard shoulders.

The vehicles are also fitted with a large crash cushion large warning signs to protect the roadworkers from oncoming traffic.

In addition, a brand new fleet of salt spreading vehicles will be rolled out across the region. These vehicles spread “pre-wet” salt which gets to work faster on the road surface to prevent ice formation and is more friendly to vehicles and the environment because less is used.

Andy Hitch, mobilisation manager for the West Midlands, said: “The new contract for Area 9 will allow us to bring all the operational, maintenance and technological functions together into one Highways Agency region.

“Having Amey as both the maintenance and technology contractors will provide us with an integrated service which will offer a number of benefits which people will start to notice over the coming months.”

Mel Ewell, chief executive at Amey, said: “It is an outstanding achievement for Amey to be awarded both the Area 9 MAC and the West Midlands TechMAC contract by the Highways Agency.  This is a great opportunity for Amey to fully utilise its engineering consultancy and maintenance services for the benefit of the travelling public in the West Midlands”


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