Today the Highways Agency launched its first strategic business plan setting out how the new body will deliver the Government’s £15bn road investment programme over the next five years.
In it Highways England has signed up to delivering £1.2bn of efficiencies through innovation, smarter working and better planning.
Highways England business plan
- £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 smart motorways
- A safety programme that builds towards the vision of no-one harmed on the strategic road network
- A new standard for A roads known as ‘expressways’ with modernised junctions, refuge areas and 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 outlines how England’s motorways and major A roads will be modernised, maintained and operated between 2015 and 2020.
This will involve switching to a longer term view for maintenance and a new Expressway standard design for major A roads.
Closer working with partners and stakeholders will enable better delivery and future planning for the next roads investment period.
The plan will be followed by a detailed delivery plan, due for publication before April.
Graham Dalton, Highways Agency Chief Executive said: “Today 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.
“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.