Highways England is the government company charged with operating, maintaining and improving motorways and major (trunk) roads in England. Highways England’s road network totals around 4 300 miles and is commonly known as the strategic road network.
The Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing is a critical part of the strategic road network in the South East of England. It spans the River Thames between Dartford and Thurrock, approximately 16 miles east of central London, and forms a trunk road link (the A282 Trunk Road) that connects the M25 London Orbital motorway either side of the Thames to create a complete strategic road network around London.
Highways England is procuring (as a procurement agent on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport, as described in the Highways England framework document annex C paragraph 2) a second generation free-flow charging service solution for the existing Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing road user charging scheme. A road user charge has been collected at this crossing since 2003 to manage the high demand for its use. Any solution is expected to offer proportionate scalability where systems and operations can deal with alternative charging schemes.
Highways England’s second generation free-flow charging service solution will be contracted through 3 main packages, each under a separate contract notice, and each delivered as a complete end-to-end managed service, including people operations, systems and maintenance. This contract notice is for UK Enforcement Services (Package B) as part of the overall free-flow charging service solution, and comprises of managing enforcement activities for vehicles registered in the UK including penalty charge payment processing and customer services. The other proposed elements of the free-flow charging solution are road user charging services (Package A) and Non-UK Enforcement Services (Package C). Package A and C are subject to separate contract notices and separate procurement exercises.
The UK Enforcement Services contract consists of the following services:
(a) implementation of a new solution and transition of existing data within 18 months of the contract commencement date;
(b) provision of revenue protection services covering the enforcement lifecycle, including:
— handling penalty charge records for contravention candidates and identifying the persons liable,
— issuing and recovering penalty charge notices,
— managing and supporting the full scope of representations and appeals in the enforcement lifecycle, and
— interfacing with debt registration organisations.
(c) processing of payments;
(d) provision of a suite of contact channels;
(e) provision of a customer support offering for managing communications (e.g. enquiries, complaints, Freedom of Information requests, subject access requests);
(f) provision of financial reconciliation, banking, a payment gateway, and accounting services related to the road user charging scheme;
(g) provision of management information;
(h) provision of lifecycle IT service management;
(i) provision of UK enforcement activities for other road user charging schemes (which may include, but is not limited to, the Lower Thames Crossing); and
(j) provision of licences of the software used in the delivery of this contract for use on alternative road user charging schemes by any other central government or local government body in the UK or any other organisation which is a highway authority under the Highways Act 1980 (‘Other Contracting Authorities’). Services associated with use of the software would be separately procured by the other contracting authorities. Highways England makes no commitment as to whether other contracting authorities will utilise such arrangements and those other contracting authorities reserve the right to procure these services through a route other than the contract which is the subject of this contract notice.