COVID-19 – Update from Highways England (17 Apr 20)

Highways England would like to update you further on their ongoing approach to the C-19 challenges. Their direction and guiding principles have not changed and they are continuing to operate as close to business as usual as possible so that they can continue to keep the SRN operating to support the country, the economy and to flow cash to all tiers of the supply chain.

HE would like to highlight the following areas:

  • Engagement Council: The next call is being held on Wednesday 22 04 2020 at 11.30 – 12.15pm. The start time has been delayed by 30 minutes so that Jim O’Sullivan can join at the start and provide a business update with the rest of the call focused around Major Projects and Operations C-19 related activities, actions underway to pull forward work and an update on the next 12 months so that you have clarity of the future Highways England workload. There will be more time available for verbal or written questions on the call.
  • Construction Leadership Council Site Operating Procedures v3: The latest CLC SOP v3 was published on 14 04 2020 and can be found on the supplier information page of our website along with other guidance. This is aligned to the latest Public Health England advice (published 07 04 2020) and Highways England fully supports it. It is important that this guidance is followed.
  • Supplier Payments: HE have now moved to daily payment runs in order to increase the speed of payment to suppliers for correctly invoiced and completed work. HE would also encourage suppliers to use Project Bank Accounts, and to also encourage all their supply chains to use them, in order to support quick payments to all suppliers.
  • Government Support: Government support for continuing construction activity, where it can be undertaken in accordance with Public Health England and industry guidance, is increasing and becoming more public. A recent CLC call with Ministers from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) was very positive. The approach that Highways England and the supply chain has taken was acknowledged as a good example of supporting the industry and the country.
  • #TransportHeroes Campaign: HE would like to encourage you to support the #TransportHeroes campaign on social media. Noting that construction has very clear Government support and PHE have clearly said that construction should continue to operate via their guidance, HE want to help raise awareness with people outside of construction about the importance of the industry, its support for essential public services, and why it needs to continue to operate. During the last week this campaign has helped explain why we are still operating and you can see their recent posts and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter. Please can you share / retweet any #TransportHeroes posts.

Should you have any questions please use the Corona.Information@highwaysengland.co.uk e-mail address.

Please keep HE fully informed of any challenges that you believe could occur, or you are experiencing, so that they can ensure a coordinated Highways England and supply chain response. Please also continue to work with your normal points of contact within Highways England on a daily basis.

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