Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

New era for roadworks begins

Engineers hailed a new era in road project delivery as Highways England was launched today.

The body – a company separate from, but owned by, the government – replaces the Highways Agency, which sat within the Department for Transport.

The long awaited move is aimed at saving taxpayers more than £2.5bn over the next decade and making road management more accountable to Parliament.

Plans to spend £11bn on the roads over the next five years, while keeping an average of 97% of the network open, were published last week.

Institution of Civil Engineers director-general Nick Baveystock said: “Today marks the end of costly and inefficient ‘stop start’ investment in our road network, and the beginning of a multi-year investment plan geared to meet long term objectives for our roads, and ultimately benefit the economy by tackling congestion more effectively and creating new jobs and apprenticeships.”

Roads firms were urged to focus on skills to make the most of the move.

Baveystock said: “Industry needs to respond to the better certainty of demand by developing its people and capabilities.

“The changes also come on the cusp of a general election. Whoever holds the keys to Number 10 come May should avoid tinkering with this hard won settlement – an investment that will reap social and economic benefits.”

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.