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Issue 662 - 17 December 2014: Features
Highways England is the name,  more road investment is the game

Highways England is the name, more road investment is the game
Andrew Forster

Ministers announced last week that Highways England will be the name of the new Government company that takes over the running of the strategic road network from the Highways Agency on the 1 April. The name may not excite but the company will need to be fully energised to deliver the Government’s ambitious plans for a big increase in expenditure on England’s motorways and trunk roads.     The new company will benefit from a... continue

Company funds improvements to local authority roads

Highways England is to invest in two local authority road schemes that will deliver benefits for local roads and the strategic road network.  The Government will fund the delivery of the A57 Link Road scheme in... continue

Feasibility studies identify £3.5bn of improvements

The Government has identified £3.5bn of schemes from the six road feasibility studies that were set up to examine long-standing problems on the strategic road network. Many of the improvements will not be completed... continue

Passenger Focus prepares for roads role

Key figures in the Government’s road reforms discussed progress at last week’s LTT-sponsored ‘Representing the road user’ conference in London.  John Dowie, the DfT’s director of strategic... continue

Journey time target omitted from company’s performance specification

Highways England will not be set a target to reduce delays but will be required to report on average delay, measured by time lost per vehicle per mile. “Given that there are many factors that influence average delay,... continue

Smart motorways to connect major cities

England’s biggest cities will be linked by a continuous network of smart motorways within ten years, with permanent hard shoulder running and variable mandatory speed limits.    The DfT says continuous smart... continue

A12 upgrade pledge

A big programme of improvements to the A12 between the M25 and Ipswich is proposed for the next ten years.  In the first five-year RIS?period, the road will be widened from two to three lanes between junction 19 (north... continue

Improved access to Liverpool port

A major upgrade to the A5036 Princess Way, the dual carriageway connecting the port of Liverpool with the  M57/M58, is promised in the first road investment period. The unspecified scheme is in the cost range... continue

Ring-fenced funds for environment, cycling & housing

Five ring-fenced funds worth £900m up to and including 2020/21 are being set up.  Environment – £300m This fund could be used to retrofit parts of the road network where previous road designs have... continue

Road traffic forecasts: growth, whatever the scenario

Significant traffic growth on England’s strategic road network (SRN) is forecast under all of the scenarios presented in the Road Investment Strategy. The report presents the result of three different scenarios, tested... continue

New studies to inform second road investment plan

Six new studies will address big challenges on sections of the strategic road network, with the findings expected to inform the second Road Investment Strategy period, commencing in 2020/21. Details are as follows: M25... continue

Tunnel to solve Cotswold bottleneck?

A tunnel could be built in the Cotswolds Area on the Outstanding Natural Beauty near Gloucester to eliminate a bottleneck on the A417. The Swindon to Gloucester trunk road has a three-mile ‘missing link’ section... continue

Severn crossings review

The future management of the Severn crossings will be reviewed by the DfT, Highways England and the Welsh Government. The current concessionaire is expected to recoup a contractually-defined sum of revenue through tolls on... continue

Media monitor

Government accused of 'motorways for marginals' plan
Rik Thomas

The ‘news’ contained in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement that £15bn is to spent on upgrading the nation’s road network was widely reported and commented on in the media even though, as the BBC... continue

Immigrants blamed for road delays

Comments by UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage on road congestion made the front page of the Metro newspaper on 8 December. “Nigel Farage blamed immigrants for making him late to a party event,” the paper... continue

Good transport good for property price rises, Times suggests

The impact of good transport infrastructure on property prices was analysed in The Times’ Bricks & Mortar supplement on 28 November. After suggesting that the property market in 2015 would be “sluggish,... continue