Labour slams Shapps over road safety and says ORR 'falling short'

16/08/2019
Chris Ames

Labour has criticised both the transport secretary and the strategic roads regulator for not ensuring that Highways England delivers on its pledge to improve roads with a poor safety rating.

Shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald (pictured) asked his counterpart, Grant Shapps, what assessment he had made of Highways England’s decision not to assess until next year the impact of its work to improve the star rating of its network under the EuroRap/iRAP methodology.

It follows the revelation by Highways that Highways England is unlikely to meet a pledge in its delivery plan that by 2020 it will improve the majority of roads falling below three stars under the methodology, which measures the inherent safety of roads.

Regulator the Office of Rail and Road initially backed Highways England as having ‘demonstrated that it is applying an evidence-based approach to prioritising safety interventions’ but later conceded that it had relied on the company’s own reporting on the issue.

In a written parliamentary answer, Mr Shapps implicitly conceded that  Highways England's planned resurvey its network in 2020 will come too late to influence its performance objectives in the second Road Investment Strategy (RIS2), which begins in that year, and the funding available.

‘It is for Highways England to decide what action to take and where in order to achieve those objectives. Highways England will review the star rating of the strategic road network when it is re-evaluated in support of its delivery of RIS2,’ he said.

Mr McDonald told Highways: ‘With the state of England’s roads falling behind standards and due to fail set targets for next year, Grant Shapps is ignoring our infrastructure.

‘The transport secretary should focus on ensuring roads are properly maintained and that promised improvements are delivered.’

He added: ‘What’s more, this raises serious questions about the ability and effectiveness of the Office of Rail and Road to regulate the work of Highways England. The regulator is falling short and it is time the Government set out its plans for reaching the required road standards.’

Highways jobs

Senior Traffic Engineer

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
£32,029 - £34,788 per annum
Currently seeking an enthusiastic and experienced individual to manage our Traffic Team. East Riding of Yorkshire
Recuriter: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Technician

Derbyshire County Council
£22,628 - £24,455 per annum
Two posts have become available in the Council's Highways Development Control Section Derbyshire
Recuriter: Derbyshire County Council

Head of Network Planning

Derbyshire County Council
£52,999 - £58,310 per annum
This is a key role at Derbyshire County Council that will lead the strategic and operational planning and management of... Matlock, Derbyshire
Recuriter: Derbyshire County Council

Senior Parking Manager

Brent Council
£55,638 - £58,779 p.a. inc.
As Senior Parking Manager, you will be responsible for the effective management of the Council’s Parking Services contract, and... Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Group Engineer (Highway Design)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£39,782 to £43,757 plus £3,000 Market Rate Supplement
Are you an experienced engineer looking for an opportunity to improve the lives of the local people of... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Group Engineer (Highways Network and Asset Management)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£39,782 to £43,757
Looking for a Group Engineer who already has... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Validation Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£21,188 - £29,796
Are you looking for working arrangements that enhance your work-life balance? London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Ugobus Driver (multiple positions)

Essex County Council
Up to £18938 per annum
Please note that we have permanent, fixed term and relief contract opportunities on a part time, job share and flexible working basis. The salary is u England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Principal Transport & Infrastructure Planning Officer

Essex County Council
£52000 - £57570.0 per annum
Please note this is a two year fixed term contract with a potential for extension, subject to budget and workload. Job purpose Calling all transport P England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Food Safety Environmental Health Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£36,630 to £42,490
Seeking a highly motivated and experienced Environmental Health Officer to join our busy Food Safety team. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Policy Planner

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£25,327 - £36,486 depending on skills and experience
We have an exciting opportunity within the Spatial and Transport Planning service for 2 x Policy Planner roles... London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Highways Inspector

Cambridgeshire County Council
£19,554 - £23,836
Looking for candidates who have experience of highways maintenance and have a sound technical understanding of highways. Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Street Services Recruitment Day

Royal Borough of Greenwich
Competitive Salary
This role involves collecting residents and business wheelie bins and waste containers you will work as... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Director of External Operations

Somerset West and Taunton Council
£100,000
Somerset West and Taunton Council has been through a transformation that puts customers at the heart of everything we do. Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset West and Taunton Council

Highways on Fridays

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue
  • HIghways Awards shortlist revealed
  • Equity in transport
  • DMRB updates
View the latest issue

Latest Video