Parkside Link Road, St. Helens, North West England
The objective of the Parkside Link Road Project is to deliver enhanced public highways access between the Parkside site and to the strategic and local networks, improving connectivity for future commuters who will work at the site, as well as improving the efficiency of freight movements to and from the site. The project will support the development of the site, help the Liverpool city region (LCR) deliver more efficient logistics and development - in close proximity to existing and proposed national sea, road and rail infrastructure - and support the LCR Growth Plan objectives, Liverpool Super Port and the Atlantic Gateway.
Perfect Circle has been appointed via Scape Group’s Built Environment Consultancy Services (BECS) framework to provide project management, quantity surveying and cost management services to support St Helens Council in-house delivery team manage the contract and costs of the project.
The project is in the borough of St. Helens, within the Parkside Regeneration Zone, adjacent to the M6 motorway. The new link road comprises new single and dual carriageway sections, and a realigned existing highway with new junctions. It will provide appropriate access from M6 Junction 22, and the local road network to the proposed Parkside regeneration development. The acquisition of land is required to deliver the Parkside Link Road, which shall facilitate the delivery of the Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI).
The scheme briefly comprises the following works:
- 2.2km of single carriageway
- 0.2km of realigned and upgraded single carriageway
- 0.4km of new dual carriageway
- 1.5km of 3m wide footway/cycleway
- 2nr roundabouts and 2nr signalised junctions.
The works are funded jointly by St. Helens Council and the ‘SIF’ fund, operated by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. Quantity surveying and project management services are provided by Perfect Circle, as well as financial reporting to enable St. Helens Council to drawdown the funds allocated to the project by Liverpool City Region (LCR). Other organisations involved in the project are Highways England, Warrington Borough Council and Wigan Council.
The new link road runs through multiple boroughs, so this was a key challenge as the design requires the agreement of all parties involved, including the requirement for two separate planning approvals. As a result, pre-construction design works were extended, which led to some time delays. Strong collaboration ensured the project budget was continuously monitored and aligned to make allowance for any unforeseen additional costs that could be incurred at the pre-construction stage.
A further challenge was presented in a proposal to move away from an NEC Option C contract to an Option A contract. The volume of works requires cost certainty and, as Option A is the most effective means of reducing construction price, this was accepted and seems to be working really well for the client and contractor.
The construction phase of the project has been delayed due to the planning application being sent to a public inquiry. This has led to additional work to meet planning requirements. There is now also the requisite to include junction mitigation works as part of this scheme, which necessitates an additional £8m+ of funding.
Balfour Beatty was appointed through Scape Group's fully compliant National Built Environment Consultancy Services (BECS) framework as principal contractor and principal designer. Balfour Beatty’s initial appointment was under a professional services contract to develop the design that was undertaken using consultancy Ramboll as its consultant designer, with an additional Scape PO for management. Throughout this period, Balfour Beatty prepared a cost summary at the end of each calendar month. These costs were validated and monitored by Perfect Circle to ensure they provided the best value for the council.
With the pre-construction works having come to an end, Balfour Beatty has submitted its target cost. Perfect Circle is in the process of reviewing this for compliance with Scape tendering protocols, which are included within the framework agreement. Upon completion of the review, Perfect Circle will provide the council with a procurement report recommending how the local authority should progress in to contract for the construction works.
Perfect Circle’s responsibilities throughout this period included reviewing contractor CE quotations and reviewing contractor applications for payment and financial reporting to the council.
- Client satisfaction = 9.7/10
- 2,100 additional jobs as part of the Strategic Rail Freight Interchange development (SRFI)
- Increase potential developed floor space creating more than 7,000 gross jobs
- Overall, the project will invigorate the economy of the Liverpool city region, its superport and the Atlantic Gateway.
Perfect Circle have worked with St. Helens Council over a number of years on a range of highway and green infrastructure schemes. They are always timely, conscientious, courteous, have the resources required as each project progresses and are fully integrated into our established team-based approach. We continue to use their services across quantity surveying, commercial and project management on our current medium and large-scale projects with confidence.
- John Sheward, Principal Engineer, St. Helens Council