Decision awaited on West Sussex highways contract legal challenge

Roadworks sign
Roadworks sign

West Sussex County Council is waiting to find out if it will have to go to court to answer a legal challenge over its highways maintenance contract.

Last year, the council was preparing to award the contract to Ringway Infrastructure Services Ltd following what was described as ‘a successful procurement process’.

But a High Court challenge from rival bidder Amey brought the process to a grinding halt.

A preliminary hearing was held at the end of April and West Sussex is waiting for the outcome.

A council spokesman said: “One of the issues for consideration by the court in the preliminary hearing is the question of whether the substantive claim by Amey should be heard in full at a future hearing.

“The court’s decision is awaited.”

He added: “We expect to learn the outcome in the next ten days or so.”

The legal challenge prompted the council to give its current partner, Balfour Beatty, an interim contract, which was eventually extended to March 2020.

The bidding process was restarted and it is hoped that a new contract or contracts will be awarded by the end of the year.