Government sets out roads reform plan

Aaron Morby 12 years ago
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Transport Secretary Justine Greening has set out the first steps for sweeping reforms to how roads are built and operated.

Central to the plan will be a 20 year strategy for the national road network and new challenging performance targets for the Highways Agency.

She also unveiled the terms of the Government’s feasibility study into harnessing private finance for roads upkeep and delivery in the UK.

The study will provide a report to the Prime Minister this autumn.

The ambitious reform programme is in response to Alan Cook’s independent review published in November last year.

Greening said: “Our motorways and major A roads are the backbone of Britain, getting people to and from work, powering the economy and keeping families connected. It is vital that we start taking positive steps now to improve how we operate, maintain and enhance our major roads.

“My goal is to transform the Highways Agency in to a best in class organisation. That’s why I have agreed to many of the actions Alan Cook recommends.

“This paves the way for a more efficient, business like and commercially focussed operator, which crucially does much more to listen and respond to the needs of road users.

“Together with the terms of reference for the feasibility study, this constitutes an ambitious integrated programme for reforming the road network in both the short and long term.”

    Road reform pledges

  • Smarter approach to planning through route based strategies. Documents will identify what needs to be delivered on key routes, including any improvements, to achieve the outcomes set in the performance specification. They will support greater local stakeholder involvement in planning and inform investment decisions for the next spending review.
  • Highways Agency and HM Treasury to consider how greater funding certainty and flexibility can be introduced for the strategic road network. The feasibility study will explore several options to raise private sector involvement and investment in roads. The report will examine how these options would be financed and how they interact with existing motoring taxation, but will not consider road pricing. It will also determine the role of tolling in the provision of new infrastructure, but it will not consider tolling existing capacity.

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