Govt takes over management of major roads

Govt takes over management of major roads 2nd May 2014

The government is taking over the management of the UK's major road network, promising that projects will be delivered without having to stop mid way and investments will be spent efficiently.

It is committing more than £24 billion to improving the A-road network across England, an incentive that began in 2010 and is set to run on until the year 2021. This is as part of a £56 billion investment in improving transport infrastructure.

The Highways Agency is set to be reformed so it will become a government-owned company, with its main task being to manage and operate the country's A-roads.

In order to make sure the agency is held to account, two new bodies will be set up. One will focus on the interests of road users while the other will be dealing with the cost and performance of road networks. Passenger Focus and the Office of Rail Regulations will produce reports on these issues.

Funding for the new Highways Agency will be locked in so projects will not fall victim to stopping and starting, meaning they will be completed and road users will be able to benefit from them more quickly.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin promised: "The reformed Highways Agency will be more transparent and more accountable, driving down costs as it increases efficiency. This means taxpayers get a better deal and road users get a network that is fit for the future economic demands of this country, helping to create more jobs and support business growth."

Later this year, the Department for Transport is due to publish a Roads Investment Strategy, outlining its long term ambitions for road networks.

It has also published scope documents for six feasibility studies, with a view to finding solutions for some of the major roads on the network that have incurred problems in the past.

Additionally, the Highways Agency has provided evidence reports for potential routes that could be incorporated into the strategic road network.

Posted by Danielle Barge