ORR: Good start for Highways England

Highways Reporters

Highways England has made a “good start” on delivering £15 billion investment in the strategic road network by 2020/21, according to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).   

ORR’S first annual performance assessment of Highways England found that the company now needs to implement a more robust internal planning process to make sure that future targets are met.

Laid in Parliament yesterday (13 July), the Annual Assessment of Highways England’s Performance April 2015 – March 2016, found that:

  • There has been a reduction in the number of people killed and seriously injured over the last year, but continued focus is needed to achieve the target of a 40% reduction by 2020

  • Highways England has exceeded its targets for maintaining network availability, clearing motorway incidents, and maintaining the quality of the road surface

  • Highways England has spent in line with its funding in 2015-16

  • It has also progressed its environmental strategies and plans, including publishing its biodiversity action plan.

Over the next year, Highways England needs to:

  • Improve the robustness of its plans for capital investment delivery, and its capability for portfolio, programme and project management

  • Improve data quality, transparency of its plans and performance, and begin planning for the next Road Investment Strategy, covering the period 2020-2025.

Joanna Whittington, chief executive, Office of Rail and Road, said: “In its first year, Highways England has achieved its performance targets and is on track with its investment plan. However, the majority of delivery targets have been set for later in the five-year funding period.

“Highways England has more work to do to demonstrate how it will ensure delivery of its capital investment plan, which ramps up in later years. The company needs to be clear about how it will manage some specific risks, such as those associated with the availability of a skilled workforce and capacity of the supply chain to deliver.”

You can read the Annual Assessment of Highways England's Performance here.

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