A66 Northern Trans-Pennine

Constructing Excellence

A66 Northern Trans-Pennine (A66NTP) Project is the £1.314bn upgrading of the A66 from single to dual carriageway through a number of schemes along a 50-mile stretch between the M6 at Penrith and the A1(M) at Scotch Corner. The A66NTP plays an essential role connecting families, friends and businesses across the north of England, providing the most direct connection between the eastern side of England and the central belt of Scotland. The project will be the first major upgrade to Trans- Pennine road links in a generation and supports Northern Powerhouse aspirations.

After project initiation the government later identified A66NTP as a ‘Project Speed’ Pathfinder project. TheGovernment’s ‘Project Speed’ initiative aims to speed up delivery of infrastructure projects. Start of Works acceleration brought forward one year to Q4 2023/24 and Construction Phase was halved from ten to five years. A few years ago, this would have been impossible, but the team accepted the challenge and with ground-breaking procurement initiatives made it possible.

In line with National Highways strategy, A66NTP was adapted to the Regional Delivery Partnership (RDP) framework procurement route. However, to enable acceleration, rather than select an individual supplier, a collaborative enterprise approach was chosen, where all eligible suppliers within the framework region were invited to be part of the project. A Collaborative Working Arrangement was agreed on initial contract with each supplier, outlining understanding between the parties about the nature of collaboration, initial ways of working and areas for continual development. The NEC 4 ECC option C scheme contracts then introduced option X12 ‘Multiparty Collaboration’ which formalised the partnering arrangements and joint incentivisation based on the intentions of the original Collaborative Working Arrangement. This included a 50% gain share which can only be accessed by working Collaboratively as part of a collective Framework Level Incentive Pot. This incentive pot combines the total savings from the four suppliers’ contracts and re-distributes amongst those suppliers if objectives are achieved jointly.

Three Winning Facts:
  1. The A66NTP Enterprise team are aligning with industry best practice from ICE Project 13 to develop a collaborative team which showcases to other regions exemplar practice in delivering major infrastructure, by boosting certainty and productivity in delivery, improving whole life outcomes, whilst supporting a more sustainable, innovative, highly skilled industry.
  2. Integrated Project Management Office (PMO) was introduced, made up of “best athletes” from across different organisations, performing roles benefitting all parties. The PMO created an integrated schedule to align the work of all partners, created an Integrated Project Management Plan and introduced enterprise quality management to standardise and improve standards.
  3. Introduction of ‘Discipline Working Groups’. Each area of the project, from pavements and structures to risk and behaviours, has established discipline working groups containing representatives from all organisations. The groups appoint a lead who represents the interests of that group in enterprise level discussions. This provides efficiency benefits, with reduced number of people attending meetings, but also creates a single sense of purpose within the groups, aligning themselves on A66NTP issues and approaches.