Herbert Smith called in on Highways Agency project

Herbert Smith has advised the Highways Agency on the completion of a unique project to upgrade England’s motorway communications network.

The Highways Agency, which is an executive agency of the Department of Transport, first instructed Herbert Smith alongside KPMG, Hyder and Detica to carry out a feasibility study into improving the communications network in 1999.

KPMG, Hyder and Detica provided financial, technical and project management expertise respectively.

Under the National Roads Telecommunications Services contract, Genesys (a Fluor-led consortium advised by CMS Cameron McKenna) will upgrade and take over the maintenance of the network. The overall value of the project is £490m.

Herbert Smith partner David Moore, who led the team, said the nature of the contracting arrangement was unique as it was a hybrid between a PFI contract and a framework agreement.

As part of its role, the Highways Agency maintains and manages a communications network that runs alongside most of England’s motorways and which is used to transmit data to and from roadside devices such as emergency telephones, message signs and CCTVs.

Linklaters advised the banking consortium, which was led by HBOS.