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Review of HE’s role in the conurbations

23 March 2020

THE DFT has announced a study into the role of Highways England’s Strategic Road Network (SRN) in combined authority areas.

“As elected mayors and combined authorities develop strategies and working arrangements for their transport and environmental activities in many of our urban centres, an important question emerges about how the SRN and Highways England can play their part most effectively in those places,” says the Department’s Road Investment Strategy 2 published last week. 

It says Highways England will undertake a study into the role of the urban SRN, “balancing the desire to better integrate these roads with local planning and transport operations while not adversely impacting on their national strategic role”.

The DfT said the study would “consider options such as improved collaboration on operations and changes in road ownership”. 

RIS2 also reveals that the DfT’s five ongoing strategic studies exploring major road investments are struggling to devise workable proposals.

Investigations of a major new road between Oxford and Milton Keynes have been “paused” because of local opposition. 

The M60 Manchester North West quadrant study has rejected “transformational schemes” and  is instead focusing on “packages of smaller schemes”.

The A1 East of England study has concluded that a new alignment for the road in Bedfordshire cannot be justified.

The Department also reports little progress to identify workable proposals in the Trans-Pennine Tunnel study and the M25 South West Quadrant study.

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