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Highways Agency to become Highways England

The replacement for the Highways Agency will be known as Highways England, the government has announced.

The name change will herald a tranche of reforms for the organisation, which are contained in the Infrastructure Bill. It had its second reading in parliament yesterday.

Assuming the Bill receives royal assent, from April 2015 the Agency will become a company owned by the government, which claims this will save the taxpayer at least £2.6bn over the next 10 years.

It will be responsible for delivering over 100 new road schemes between now and the end of next parliament.

A strategic road network monitor role will be undertaken by the Office of Rail Regulation, which will publish information on the performance of the new Highways England and will have the power to take action for poor performance.

The bill will also see Passenger Focus renamed Transport Focus, which the government says will “provide road users with a stronger voice in how roads are managed and maintained”.

Roads minister John Hayes said: “This government is making a transformational £15bn worth of improvements to our road network between now and 2021. It is only right that the new government-owned company has a name that reflects its new role, as a road operator that delivers a fast, efficient and better service for road users and the country.”

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