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Highways England overhauls design standards

roadworks sign swindon

The first four documents for Highways England’s radically overhauled Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) have been released, paving the way for easier innovation in the highways sector.

Arup, Aecom, WSP, Atkins, CH2M and Pell Frischmann have all lent expertise to the new sections of the DMRB, which sets design, construction and maintenance standards for England’s major roads.

Updates to the DMRB, first published in 1992, have focused on making the manual more flexible and easier for engineers to innovate without having to meet such strict criteria.

Roads built under the new design standards should have a longer functioning life and show better resilience. Highways England is undergoing a major shake-up: it has recently outlined its 10-year smart motorways programme and has changed its procurement model.

“This is an exciting time for the highways sector as we continue to successfully deliver the record £15bn investment in roads. The updated DMRB documents mark a historic moment for the design of the UK’s motorways and major A-roads,” said Highways England chief highways engineer Mike Wilson.

“I would like to thank the Devolved Administrations and our supply chain who have supported this significant review, which will ensure our roads are designed, built and maintained to the very highest, safest standards for the millions of drivers that use these roads every day.” 

By March 2020 all 350 documents which make up the DMRB will have been updated.

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