MPs have raised concerns over the government’s plan to overhaul the Highways Agency.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin last week approved proposals to make the Agency a government-owned company with a fixed, long term budget. The plan will now go to Parliament and could be in force within a year.
The government claimed the changes would save the taxpayer at least £2.6bn over the next decade, and make the new company more accountable to Parliament and road users.
But the cross-party Transport Committee said this morning: “We are not convinced by the case for establishing the Highways Agency as a government-owned company (GoCo).
“The benefits seem achievable through better management of the current agency and its relationship with the Department for Transport. We strongly support the five-year funding plans being introduced for the agency, but do not believe that a change in the agency’s status is required for their delivery.”
The select committee’s report, Better Roads, added: “If the Highways Agency becomes a GoCo, it will need a strong system of scrutiny. The current proposals for this are inadequate.
“The new scrutiny body will need the power of a full regulatory authority. The GoCo must view road users as customers and other organisations as partners in the delivery of an integrated transport network.”
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