Highways England, the new Government owned entity that will take over from the Highway Agency
next April, has launched its first strategic business plan detailing how they will deliver the £15b road improvement programme for the Government over the next five years.
In the strategic business plan, Highways England has signed up to £1.2b worth of efficiencies through innovation, better planning and smarter working.
The plan outlines how the UK’s motorways and A roads will be improved, maintained and run between next year and 2020. This will involve a long term view of maintenance and changing to a new expressway
design for major A roads.
Working more closely with stakeholders and partners will help Highways England to plan and deliver more efficiently.
Here is a brief run down of spending and delivery targets
£11bn of capital investment
£5bn to replace worn out roads
£1.2bn efficiency savings
Building 400 miles of extra capacity by creating a spine of smarter motorways designed to help relive congestion and reduce delay times without the need for widening.
A safety programme that aims towards the vision of no-one harmed on the strategic road network
A new standard for A roads known as ‘expressways’ which would have modernised junctions, refuge areas and using advanced technology to keep traffic moving
Substantial resurfacing of the network and reducing noise at 1,150 locations
Producing a National Cycling Strategy by the end of 2015
Target to clear 85% of motorway incidents within one hour
Creating a new company with the right capabilities and effective working with suppliers.
The plan will be followed up by a more detailed delivery plan which is due to be released in April.
Highways Agency chief executive Graham Dalton said: "This is another important milestone for England's motorways and major A roads. Our strategic business plan makes it clear that in order to deliver investment of this scale we need to work smarter, build strong relationships and provide a really good service for our customers. This will allow us to provide a network that offers better journeys on better roads, enabling growth across the country."
“The plan is ambitious and sets out a vision where safety means no-one should be harmed on our network; where minimal disruption means planning roadworks better over the next five years; and modernisation means more ‘smart’ motorways and a new standard of A road turning them into ‘expressways’.
“When we realise this vision it will make a real difference for the four million people who drive on this network every day.”
The public watchdog for the strategic road network will be the Office of Rail Regulation
, which will publish information on the performance of the new Highways England and will have the power to take action for poor performance.
We will need to wait until April to get more details on the delivery plan.