Highways England (HE) has appointed engineering and professional services consultancy, WSP, to provide technical services to its Network Planning Division (NPD) to help deliver a Network Study Programme, in a contract worth almost £1m.
The work will utilise the combined expertise of WSP’s near 1,000 strong highways, environmental and transport planning teams across their northern offices in Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle.
Over the next 12 months, WSP, supported by delivery partner, Mott MacDonald, will undertake a range of UK-wide network studies. The commission was procured through the Highways England Specialist Professional and Technical Services (SPaTS) Framework, which was introduced in 2014 to support £15bn of capital investment in HE’s Roads Improvement Strategy.
This is one of the first contracts of its kind awarded by the Network Planning Division to one supplier, including multiple linked studies over a set time frame as opposed to tendering each individual study. It is hoped that this will provide a consistent approach and a more efficient way of progressing studies to identify improvements to the strategic road network (SRN) which includes 4,300 miles of motorways and trunk roads across the country.
The study teams will develop evidence to select the right interventions through a range of studies including:
- Delivering studies where the Network Planning Division work in liaison with sub-national transport bodies to ensure alignment of work and collaboration.
- Studies to assess the impacts on the SRN of major strategic external projects such as major rail upgrades and airport expansions, and to determine what interventions are needed.
The appointment comes on the back of WSP being named top in the CIHT Transportation Consultants Directory for Integrated Transport Systems, Local Government and Transport Planning, with the largest number of UK-based transport planning professionals.
Nasar Malik, WSP’s director for this commission, said: “This is a significant win for the business and builds on our strong track record of delivering technical studies for Highways England. We’re also thrilled to have been recognised as the number one consultant for transport planning; a testament to the skills and expertise of our multi-discipline teams across the UK.”
Liz Garlinge, director of network planning at Highways England, said: “We’re pleased to welcome WSP on board to help shape the future of major roads across England. Millions of drivers rely on our motorways and major A roads every day to get to work, meet friends and family or for long distance deliveries, and our programme of network studies will help ensure our roads remain fit for the future.”