Future of Highways Agency in doubt

Grant Prior 11 years ago
Share

Plans unveiled today to reform the management of England’s motorways and trunk roads have cast a doubt over the future of the Highways Agency.

The Cook Review claims a revamp of road management can save £200m a year.

Author Alan Cook said: “The management of our strategic roads is at odds with every other major infrastructure sector in the UK.

“By applying the lessons learnt by the best performing companies in other sectors, there is the potential to save taxpayers at least £200 million a year after 5 years, and to provide a much better service for road users and the wider economy.”

The report recommends that the Secretary of State for Transport should take on a new, more strategic role in the management of the network.

It also recommends reforming the status of the current Highways Agency, giving it a more independent Board, which can make better and more flexible commercial decisions with greater financial autonomy.

Civil engineering contractors welcomed the review but believe changes should stop short of disbanding the Highways Agency.

CECA director of external affairs Alasdair Reisner said: “Despite being the single largest asset owned by the government, the development and maintenance of the strategic roads network has been held back by funding short-termism.

“For many years the industry has campaigned for greater long-term certainty for roads funding. We know from other sectors that longer funding cycles drive efficiency by allowing work to be more effectively managed, smoothing investment.

“As its title suggests, the recommendations of Alan Cook’s report offer a fresh start for the network, with a clear five-year vision that will enable the supply chain to respond more effectively to demand.

“But a fresh start should not mean a complete overhaul.

“We believe that in many of its activities the Highways Agency leads industry best practice.

“We hope that any reform will accommodate and build upon this existing capability, delivering the world class strategic network that road users demand.”

Latest news

Construction leaders launch inflation busting taskforce

All sides of industry urged to work together rather than row over price hikes
13 hours ago

Track worker killed by train was controller of site safety

Distracted rail worker "lost awareness of his position relative to the line the train approached on"
10 hours ago

MechFS went down owing £9.5m to supply chain

Subcontractors left holding millions in worthless invoices
18 hours ago

HG Construction profit jumps 50% to £25m

Multi-storey homes and student accommodation jobs drive sales to record £243m
18 hours ago

Go-ahead for Newcastle’s largest build to rent project

Work to start on 14-storey flats complex in the autumn
17 hours ago

Contractors wanted for £288m Northumbrian Water frameworks

Ten lots up for grabs under latest major civils deal
17 hours ago

Plans in for 142-room Exeter net zero hotel

RED Construction to build first of hotel developer's planned chain of net zero hotels
17 hours ago

Rail workers vote to strike over maintenance job cuts fears

Network could grind to a halt next month
17 hours ago

Race for £100m Immingham ferry terminal job

AB Ports aims to start work in mid 2023
2 days ago

Sisk wins Stockport £60m Weir Mill restoration

Work to start next month on 250 flats scheme
2 days ago

Developer swoops for 1,000-flats landmark Leeds site

Revised plans to be submitted by the end of the year for start soon after
2 days ago

Dominvs seals £173m funding for 713-bed student job

HG Construction to start major Hammersmith student complex in November
2 days ago

Briefings start for £1bn Midland Mainline Electrification plan

Market engagement starts for next seven sections covering 139km route to Sheffield
2 days ago

Forterra pushes back £27m factory refurb plan

Supply chain shortages hit project as brick prices rose another 12% last month
2 days ago

Speedy Hire results slowed down by KPMG

Hire giant left "frustrated and disappointed" by delay request from auditor
2 days ago

London office starts set to surge over next 6 months

Deloitte Crane Survey predicts jump in starts in Capital despite high building costs
3 days ago

Fit-out firm BW Workplace slips into the red

£5.2m backdated R&D tax credit deal lifts after tax performance
3 days ago

Hinkley Point delayed another year as costs rise by £3bn

Covid blamed for construction delays and cost increases
6 days ago

Competition probe launched into Bouygues’ Equans takeover

Bouygues is hoping to finalise acquisition later this year
3 days ago

TfL seeks developers for trio of over-station sites

Plum sites at Bank, Paddington and Southwark come with consent for 600,000 sq ft
3 days ago

Underwater drone used to check offshore wind farm foundations

Underwater robots deployed for inspection and maintenance work
3 days ago

DfE to unveil plans for school procurement shake-up

Supply chain summit to be held next month in Birmingham on future of schools frameworks
6 days ago

Plan for £100m clifftop hotel and flats in Newquay

Developer Salboy's landmark scheme to go in for planning shortly
6 days ago

Top 30 M&E contractors set for growth – ranking

Major M&E firms prepare for work surge after riding out pandemic
6 days ago

Former Mace boss joins Taylor Wimpey board

Mark Castle takes on another non-exec role
6 days ago

ISG starts £28m duo of Yorkshire leisure centre jobs

Harrogate and Knaresborough leisure centre jobs get underway
6 days ago

HS2 workforce surges to 25,000 jobs milestone

Over 2,500 firms form the HS2 supply chain
6 days ago

Green light for 1.4m sq ft Yorkshire logistic hub

Work at the site, located 24 miles from Leeds city centre, is expected in September.
6 days ago

Contractors lift tender margins to 9% on bids in the Capital

Developer Landsec to press ahead with trio of London office schemes this year despite cost inflation
7 days ago

Fire safety work plunges Countryside to £182m loss

Countryside Partnerships forms dedicated division to handle retrofits on a 123 buildings
7 days ago

Contractor services