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CBI proposes abolishing Highways Agency

Business group CBI is today proposing to abolish the Highways Agency and replace it with an independent regulator as part of a major shake-up in the roads sector.

In its report Bold Thinking: A model to fund our future roads CBI director general John Cridland is calling for the introduction of a regulatory asset base model to plug current funding gaps in road funding. 

Cridland wants the Highways Agency to be abolished and replaced with a regulator that will award licences to private firms running the road network.

He believes the regulated model for the road network would address long-term funding and one year cycles by taking decisions out of the government’s budget. The Highways Agency currently has a £10bn maintenance backlog.

“It’s clear we need a gear change in how we manage and pay for our road network in the 21st century,” said Cridland. “A lack of investment means we are really struggling to increase road capacity, let alone adequately maintain what we already have.”

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