ORR to increase focus on environmental monitoring

08/11/2021
Dominic Browne

National Highways' monitor will have an increased focus on environmental issues this year as it assesses whether the strategic roads operator is turning its ambitions into reality.

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) will also be looking carefully at National Highways' efficiency savings following recent cuts to its funding for the road investment strategy period (RIS 2 2020-2025).

National Highways working on biodiversity at Kirk Beck on the A595

Feras Alshaker, the ORR's director of planning and performance has suggested that there will be an increased focus on biodiversity this year.

He also argued that wider environmental issues will have technological as well as social solutions.

'One thing we will be doing this year is looking very closely at National Highways' plan for delivering on its biodiversity obligations,' he said.

'Our role is to make sure that National Highways has a plan to deliver environmental outcomes, particularly around biodiversity for example, and how is it going to deliver that. Is it a mix of maintenance and some of these capital programmes? We will assess the deliverability of that.

'For some of that, I am sure, National Highways will be looking at technological innovation and a lot of efficiency is driven by changing techniques to construction and changing the way you go about doing work and that can be technologically driven as well as human factors.'

Mr Alshaker suggested that the ORR would undertake independent assessments of National Highways' work in this area.

The recent Spending Review revealed that National Highways would have a budget cut of £3.4bn in this roads period, funding which the Department for Transport suggested would be moved into RIS 3 (2025-2030).

Following the news, Mr Alshaker told Highways that the shift of cash would not impact ORR's scrutiny but could make it harder for National Highways to achieve efficiency savings.

'We set out in the efficiency monitoring manual how we are going to measure efficiency at the start of the roads period. We follow those principles. As these changes go through the portfolio we'll be undertaking an assessment.

'We have had said in our assessment this year that National Highways needs to provide better evidence of efficiencies. I don't think necessarily that moving money out is a barrier to assessing efficiency it may be a barrier to achieving the same percentages of efficiency but we have to go through that process with National Highways and make our own independent assessment.'

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Also Inside:

  • Cold Comfort Scotland Review
  • Traffic Signals Backlog Revealed
View the latest issue


Highways jobs

Principal Transport Development Planner

£39,759 per annum (pro rata if part time)
A great opportunity to join the Suffolk County Council's Transport Strategy Team as a Principal Transport Development Planner. Suffolk County Council, Ipswich IP1 2BX
Recruiter: Suffolk County Council

Senior Manager - Asset and Network

£56,593 - £62,792
This is a brand-new role developed out of our vision for the future of the recently established Transport and Highways directorate. Chester, Ellesmere Port, Winsford
Recruiter: Cheshire West & Chester

Senior Manager - Highways and Environment

£56,593 - £62,792
This is a brand-new role developed out of our vision for the future of the recently established Transport and Highways directorate. Chester, Ellesmere Port, Winsford
Recruiter: Cheshire West & Chester

Principal Green Infrastructure Officer

Grade
£40,578 - £44,624
Recruiter: Basingstoke & Deane BC

Sustainable Travel Planning Officer

£28,226 - £30,095
Sustainable Travel Planning Officer
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Sustainable Travel Planning Manager

£34,408 - £37,108
The Planning and Sustainable Growth Service is looking to recruit an experienced and enthusiastic Sustainable Travel Planning Manager New Shire Hall - Alconbury Weald
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Capital Delivery Manager

£43,910 to £50,504
City of York Council are excited to announce that we are seeking a Capital Delivery Manager. York, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: City of York Council

HGV Driver

£11.60 per hour
Our client has a great opportunity for HGV/LGV drivers to work in the Waste Recycling service. York, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: City of York Council

Flood Risk Officer

£23,953 - £26,466
Lincolnshire County Council has established a national reputation for its partnership approach to managing flood risk. Lincolnshire
Recruiter: Lincolnshire County Council

Household Waste Recycling Centre Operative

£18,887 - £20,043
We are looking for someone who enjoys working with the public and works well as part of a team. Lincolnshire
Recruiter: Lincolnshire County Council

Household Waste Recycling Centre Supervisor

£23,953 - £26,466
An exciting new position in Waste Services is waiting for you! Lincolnshire
Recruiter: Lincolnshire County Council

Waste Performance and Improvement Assistant

£20,043 - £21,269
You will be integral in supporting the seven District Councils across Lincolnshire to improve the quality of waste disposed of by residents. Lincolnshire
Recruiter: Lincolnshire County Council

Senior Planning Liaison Officer

£30,984 to £35,336
We’re looking for somebody to join our Highways and Transport team as a Senior Planning Liaison Officer. Taunton, Somerset
Recruiter: Somerset County Council

Senior Performance Analyst

£50,810 - £59,408
This role can be based at any of our locations
Recruiter: Office of Rail and Road (ORR)

Loaders (Morpeth)

£18,887 - £19,264
You will provide an efficient and effective refuse collection and recycling service. Morpeth, Northumberland
Recruiter: Northumberland County Council

Senior Technician - Highway Drainage Management (2 Posts)

£26,204 - £28,113
The Highway Drainage Management Team is a newly formed team within the Highways Service. Matlock, Derbyshire
Recruiter: Derbyshire County Council

Parking and Processing Assistant

£20,444
Northumberland County Council operates a huge range of services across one of the largest counties in the UK. Northumberland
Recruiter: Northumberland County Council

Principal Engineer - York Central

£37,114 to £42,562
We have an exciting opening for an experienced highway design engineer. York, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: City of York Council

Senior Highway Adoptions Inspector

£31,887 to £36,380
We have an exciting opening for an experienced highway inspector. York, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: City of York Council

Highways Asset Engineer

£37,260 - £38,148
Are you an experienced Asset Management professional looking for your next challenge? Hackney, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Hackney London Borough Council

Highways Presents

 

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Video