Restricted Monitoring Ongoing Charges For Temp’ VRS

Currently waiting for a response from Highways England Company Limited, they should respond promptly and normally no later than (details).

Dear Highways England Company Limited,

In the meantime, I restrict my request to

1. Your policy and / or arrangements / agreements with contractors
for the monitoring of ongoing works and costs; the obligations upon your
contractor and yourselves. This will include but not be restricted to:
a. The requirement of your contractor to keep you advised of the
temp’ VRS placement and ongoing costs for:
i. Varioguard
ii. Monitoring
iii. administration
b. The mitigation of temp’ VRS utilisation and continuance
c. Whether there is a threshold or thresholds above which you must be
notified or costs are limited
d. The requirements to monitor Varioguard

Yours faithfully,

Mr P Swift

this follows from your response to https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m...

Highways England, Highways England Company Limited

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If you’re reporting a real time issue which requires immediate attention
please call the Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000.

 

A map of the roads for which we are responsible can be found here
[1]https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk....
If the road you’re interested in isn’t on this map it will fall under the
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Highways England Company Limited | General enquiries: 0300 123 5000
|National Traffic Operations Centre, 3 Ridgeway, Quinton Business Park,
Birmingham B32 1AF |
[5]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... |
[6][Highways England request email]

 

Registered in England and Wales no 9346363 | Registered Office: Bridge
House, 1 Walnut Tree Close, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4LZ 

 

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6. mailto:[Highways England request email]

OPS DMT (NW), Highways England Company Limited

Dear Mr Swift

 

Thank you for your request for information about Restricted Monitoring
Ongoing Charges For Temp’ VRS in Area 10 dated 13 May 2020, please accept
our apologies for the delay in acknowledging this. We are dealing with it
under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

The due date for issuing a response is 11 June 2020.

 

If you have any queries about this email, please contact us. Please
remember to quote reference number 101095 in any future communications.

 

Kind regards

 

Divisional Management Team – Operations Directorate
Highways England | Piccadilly Gate | Store Street | Manchester | M1 2WD
Web: [1]http://www.highwaysengland.co.uk

 

 

This email may contain information which is confidential and is intended
only for use of the recipient/s named above. If you are not an intended
recipient, you are hereby notified that any copying, distribution,
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strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and destroy it.

 

Highways England Company Limited | General enquiries: 0300 123 5000
|National Traffic Operations Centre, 3 Ridgeway, Quinton Business Park,
Birmingham B32 1AF |
[2]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... |
[3][Highways England request email]

 

Registered in England and Wales no 9346363 | Registered Office: Bridge
House, 1 Walnut Tree Close, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4LZ 

 

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References

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1. http://www.highwaysengland.co.uk/
2. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
3. mailto:[Highways England request email]

OPS DMT (NW), Highways England Company Limited

Dear Mr Swift

 

I am writing to confirm that we have now completed our search for the
information in Area 10 , which you requested on 13 May 2020.

 

A copy of the information is below.

 

With regard to incidents or repairs requiring temporary VRS (for example, 
parapet damage) and the associated chapter 8 monitoring of same, please
advise:

 

Your policy and / or arrangements / agreements with contractors for the
monitoring of ongoing works and costs; the obligations upon your
contractor and yourselves. This will include but not be restricted to:

 1. The requirement of your contractor to keep you advised of the
temporary VRS placement and ongoing costs for:

 a. Varioguard
 b. Monitoring
 c. Administration

 

Please note on 1 April 2019 Highway England moved to a new method of
delivering our services on our road network within the geographical
operational area known as Area 10 (Cheshire, Greater Manchester,
Merseyside and South Lancashire). We brought the responsibility for asset
investment and operational decision making in-house under a new delivery
model known as Asset Delivery. From that date we engaged a Maintenance and
Response Contractor (M&R) to provide cyclic and reactive maintenance
services which includes incident response and the repair of damaged assets
resulting from an incident.

 

Since 1 April 2019 under Asset Delivery, Highways England issues an
instruction in the form of works orders via our Confirm management system
for the M&R to make safe and repair a damaged asset. Varioguard is
installed as a safe guarding measure, which is an industry recognised
system to provide in a temporary state the necessary containment and
characteristics to meet standard until the asset is repaired.

 

The M&R will monitor and maintain varioguard in accordance with the
manufacturer’s instructions and Chapter 8 of the Traffic Signs Manual
produced by the Department for Transport
 [1]https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio.... The
cost of this regime is paid for on a cost reimbursable basis as defined in
the M&R contract and claimed on a monthly basis via the Confirm management
system until the damaged asset is repaired.

 

 2. Regarding the mitigation of temporary VRS utilisation and continuance
of the monitoring of the cost which is ongoing from installation, a
charge accumulating on a per meter/day basis – what is the agreed

 

 a. Criteria for installation

 

Varioguard is installed when an asset has been damaged to protect the road
user and allow the network to be re-opened. The type and length of
protection will vary from job to job, but as standard there is a lead in
section, main body and the end section.

 

 b. Requirement to monitor/maintain

 

The varioguard is visually inspected twice in every 24 hour period and
maintained in accordance with the guidance from the manufacturer.

 

 c. SLA for repair – to minimise costs

 

Under Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 Highways England
does not hold a document that states an SLA for repair. To give a bit of
context all repairs vary from site to site and would depend on what asset
has been damaged. Repairs are carried out as quick as practicable but
timescales may vary if a structural assessment and design is required for
a damaged structural asset to enable it to be returned back to standard
and its intended design purpose.  

 

 d. Reporting procedure to Highways England about ongoing/accumulation
costs i.e. the need to justify, mitigate.

 

As Highways England has instructed the work and have responsibility to
define and instruct the repair the M&R continues to provide the
safeguarding measures until the permanent repair of the damaged asset is
completed. 

 

 e. The process for establishing necessity/requirement pre-payment of
invoice

 

As this work is defined as cost reimbursable, payment is made based on
records/invoices provided by the M&R to demonstrate the costs incurred.

 

 3. Whether there is a threshold or thresholds above which you must be
notified or costs are limited.

 

Under Asset Delivery contract there is no threshold for damage to crown
property. Highways England is responsible for recovering the cost of all
repairs undertaken which will include make safe, design and construction
costs to return an asset back to standard and its intended design purpose.

 

 4. The requirements to monitor Varioguard.

 

All locations where Varioguard has been placed is visually inspected twice
in a 24 hour period and systems are maintained in accordance with each
manufacturer’s guidance.

 

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request you may ask
for an internal review. Our internal review process is available at:

[2]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...

 

If you require a print copy, please phone the Information Line on 0300 123
5000; or e-mail [3][Highways England request email]. You should contact me if
you wish to complain.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

 

           Information Commissioner’s Office

           Wycliffe House

           Water Lane

           Wilmslow

           Cheshire

           SK9 5AF

 

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me. Please
remember to quote reference number 101095 in any future communications.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Divisional Management Team – Operations Directorate
Highways England | Piccadilly Gate | Store Street | Manchester | M1 2WD

Web: [4]http://www.highwaysengland.co.uk

 

 

This email may contain information which is confidential and is intended
only for use of the recipient/s named above. If you are not an intended
recipient, you are hereby notified that any copying, distribution,
disclosure, reliance upon or other use of the contents of this email is
strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and destroy it.

 

Highways England Company Limited | General enquiries: 0300 123 5000
|National Traffic Operations Centre, 3 Ridgeway, Quinton Business Park,
Birmingham B32 1AF |
[5]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... |
[6][Highways England request email]

 

Registered in England and Wales no 9346363 | Registered Office: Bridge
House, 1 Walnut Tree Close, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4LZ 

 

Consider the environment. Please don't print this e-mail unless you really
need to.

References

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1. https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...
2. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
3. mailto:[Highways England request email]
4. http://www.highwaysengland.co/
5. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
6. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Dear OPS DMT (NW),

Thank you for your response. There are some outstanding issues and some clarification required:

What was the process pre 04/2019?

1. How before and after 04/2019, do you, Highways England monitor the installation that is accruing costs on a daily basis? What checking is in place, what responsibility does the contractor have to keep you advised and keep the period of installation to a minimum?

Repairs being carried out ‘as quick as possible’ is informal

2a. Am I correct in assuming there is:

i. No monitoring of the installations current in place or those pre-04/2019
ii. No policy that sets out the criteria for installation of the barrier
iii. No policy that requires a contractor to notify you of the installations, the date they were installed and of the ongoing costs

2b
Is the visual inspection ‘twice in every 24 hours’ an Authority policy (if so, please provide a copy) or established elsewhere.

The ‘Chapter 8’ requirements in the ‘Traffic Signs Manual’, as you may expect, relate to signage as opposed to temp VRS.

2d
See above as the request is seeking the ‘reporting procedure to Highways England about ongoing/accumulation costs i.e. the need to justify, mitigate’

2e
I note payment is made ‘based on records/invoices provided by the M&R to demonstrate the costs incurred’ but the request is seeking the ‘process for establishing necessity/requirement pre-payment of invoice’; how is established that the Varioguard was required and for the period charged?

3
Is there a threshold or thresholds above which you must be notified or costs are limited? I understand AD has removed the invoice threshold but I am assuming there are estimated costs that give rise to alarm/alert i.e. that Highway England is to be advised of a potential claim in excess of £x? In turn, that the Varioguard potentially giving rise to large costs, this may trigger such an alert.

Is there a threshold or thresholds for such purposes or does the contractor have authority to repair as they see fit, without need to convey cost (or potential cost) pre-issuance of an invoice? .

Yours sincerely,

Mr P Swift