Highways Agency reform moves forward with publication of key documents

Development of the Department of Transport’s first Roads Investment Strategy (RIS) is being put together at high speed to ensure it is agreed by the end of the year, ready for when the Highways Agency converts to a Strategic Highways Company (SHC).

Information on the RIS emerged when DfT this week published a suite of draft key documents detailing the key elements that will create “a cohesive and robust governance framework for the new company”.

The document “Setting the road investment strategy – now and in the future” gives more insight and information into the RIS.

Legislation is currently in Parliament as part of the Infrastructure Bill to turn the Agency into a government owned company with a five year budget. The RIS will set out the long term strategic vision for the strategic road network in England and “will offer the long term funding certainty to enable the SHC to plan more confidently and effectively for the future, enter into long term contracts with suppliers and consider alternative and novel solutions to problems”, says the draft document.

“The RIS will, for the first time, provide the longer-term clarity that is vital for the companies who help plan, build and maintain our roads. They can start thinking about the resources needed well in advance and will be in a better position to expand their capacity through investment in new techniques and equipment, and by recruiting and training staff.”

The process for a future RIS will take up to five years alongside implementation of the current RIS. But for the first one there is nowhere near that much time. For the first one, the plan is to build on the route strategies programme and work with stakeholders over the summer particularly to develop metrics within the performance specification.

You can link through to all the documents by clicking on the title below.

“Transforming our strategic roads – a summary”

Strategic highways company: draft licence

Setting the road investment strategy: now and in the future”.

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