Video: Martin Tugwell explains the power of regional infrastructure leadership

Martin Tugwell, programme director of the Economic Heartland Strategic Alliance argues that the local road network deserves the same long term funding strategy now afforded to the national network.

"For Highways England having clarity and a longer term framework is really helpful as they can plan – what we are asking for is at a sub-national level let us have the same," he told the ACOonAir Highwas Hangout at the recent Highways UK event.

"If we have clarity over funding for the next five years and perhaps the five after that then we can do the same kind of planning," he added. "I am confident that if we have the vision and the clarity then the supply chain will respond to that.“

Tugwell pointed to Economic Heartland Strategic Alliance as an example of how regional authorities were radically rethinking their approach to highways asset management .

"What [the alliance} is doing is providing leadership," he said. "The evidence from the business community os that it is an area of economic success but it has got even more potential. Business leaders are saying to us that they want strategic leadership delivering a transport systems – not a series of networks.

"We need to recognise that the road network is serving a purpose – serving businesses and serving residents – so we need to think about what are we trying to achieve and what are the outcomes to look for and make sure that we work together to deliver that. It is very much about the end user and recongnising that we use all kinds of different forms of transport every day."

"Maintaining the asset is really really important and is often what affects individuals perceptions of our success as a transport industry."

If you would like to contact Antony Oliver about this, or any other story, please email