Video: Interview with Anthony Smith, chief executive, Transport Focus

The highways sector supply chain is "blinking in the sunshine" as the opportunities adn challenges created by longer term funding settlement for Highways England start to sink in, says Smith

"There are two worlds emerging," he told the ACOonAir Highways Hangout at the recent Highways UK event. "There is a very different approach to local road maintenance as opposed to what is going on on the strategic road network. But users experience is governed by the whole road network."

He added: "The supply chain is clearly blinking in the sunshine of this new five year funding plans. But they are going to be asked to do more for less so will have to become more efficient and tha tis crucially going involved coming up with new ideas. Technology must drive this. At the moment you have got vey birght cars and trucks and very dumb infrastructure. Marrying two together will reap benefits." 

The steps need to create a truly customers focused highway network are being put in place, he said.

"The first thing is that you have a professionalised, representative evidence base that tell you want users think. That is going to drive a huge amount of change and we haven’t had it before."

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