O'Sullivan hails Highways England 'transformation'

Chris Ames

Road design and construction has been transformed over the past five years by Highways England, its outgoing chief executive Jim O’Sullivan has said.

Mr O’Sullivan said innovations in the industry had reduced disruption, increased safety and delivered quicker benefits, and that future partnership working will ensure all parts of the country are connected.

He also stressed that on projects like the A14 major upgrade between Cambridge and Huntingdon, Highways England and its partners had introduced new techniques and practices which had ‘transformed how everyone works together’.

Mr O’Sullivan pointed out that the flagship project (pictured below) was the only government infrastructure project of over £1bn in recent years to be delivered on budget, and ahead of schedule.

‘Techniques like modular construction and digital design have helped reduce disruption to customers, increase the safety of our workforce and delivered benefits faster,’ he said.

Looking over the achievements of the first road investment programme, from 2015 to 2020, Mr O’Sullivan pointed to a reduction in the company employee accident frequency rate by over 95% and an improvement in the supply chain rate of over 50%.

This came alongside a 16% fall in fatalities on the strategic road network last year and a net 2% reduction in those killed or seriously injured.

In addition he cited the adoption of 60mph through roadworks where safe, regional delivery partnerships, and a more proactive approach to asset management.

He added: ‘Over the next five years, the safety of our customers and workforce will remain our first imperative. We will reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on the SRN by 50% against the 2005 – 2009 baseline. We will keep everyone who works on our network safe.

‘By clearing incidents quicker and keeping our roads well maintained, we will help our customers to have smoother journeys. We will clear over 86% of incidents within an hour and will make sure that our road surfaces always meet the required 95% standard.

Mr O’Sullivan said Highways England would work with others to make sure its projects have ‘an even more beneficial impact for the communities alongside our roads’, building on the partnerships with other organisations it has developed through the Designated Funds programme.

‘And by working with MPs and organisations such the sub-national transport bodies and regional mayors, we will make sure that every part of the country feels the benefit of our work.

Mr O’Sullivan announced in August that he was stepping down as Highways England’s chief executive. You can read Highways’ interview with him in our October issue.

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Also Inside:

  • Traffex Parkex review
  • Round table: Mastering modern contracting
View the latest issue

Highways jobs

Road Worker

Band 6 £20,043 - £22,129 pa
Bradford Metropolitan District Council is looking for two Road Workers to join the Highway Delivery Unit. Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: City of Bradford MDC

Assistant Engineer / Engineer

£24,920 - £34,373 pa
This is an opportunity to join the highway maintenance team Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: City of Bradford MDC

Technician - Maintenance Programmes (3 Posts)

£23,657 - £25,568 per annum - Plus market leading package (see below)
This is an exciting time to join our in-house Highways Service Hybrid
Recruiter: Derbyshire County Council

Assistant Highways Officer

£21,269 - £23,953
Lincolnshire County Council is looking to recruit an Assistant Highways Officer Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Recruiter: Lincolnshire County Council

Highways Officer

£26,466 - £29,174
Lincolnshire County Council is looking to appoint a Highways Lincolnshire
Recruiter: Lincolnshire County Council

Carbon Reduction Manager

£42,614 - £45,648 (pro-rata)
Are you driven to tackle climate change though decarbonisation? Newport (Casnewydd)
Recruiter: Newport City Council

Senior Engineer

We are looking to recruit a Senior Engineer within the Structures team. Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf
Recruiter: Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council

Transportation Planner

£35,336 - £39,571
A Transportation Planner is required for the analysis and monitoring of traffic, to design and undertake feasibility studies. Pembroke, Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro)
Recruiter: Pembrokeshire County Council

Highways Service Manager (Commissioning & Contract Management)

£52,848 - £64,998
We are now looking to recruit a number of talented, motivated and innovative individuals. Northampton, Northamptonshire
Recruiter: West Northamptonshire Council

Highways Network Manager

£52,848 - £64,998
We are forming a new highways and transport team for West Northamptonshire Council Northampton, Northamptonshire
Recruiter: West Northamptonshire Council

Assistant Engineer

£27,514 to £29,174 per annum
A great opportunity has arisen for an enthusiastic and self-motivated individual to join our team Preston, Lancashire
Recruiter: Preston City Council

Highways Transport Strategy and Development Manager

£52,848 - £64,998
This is a unique opportunity to join a newly formed unitary authority which is mobilising a new highways contract. Northampton, Northamptonshire
Recruiter: West Northamptonshire Council

Principal Officer (Network Coordination)

£39,571 - £42,614
We are looking for experienced and well-motivated staff to help shape the future delivery of the service. Oxford, Oxfordshire
Recruiter: Oxfordshire County Council

Senior Highways Officer

£36,371 per annum plus £2,000 Market Forces
Hertfordshire truly is the County of Opportunity Hertford, Hertfordshire
Recruiter: Hertfordshire County Council

Highways Development Manager

£44,624 per annum plus £3,000 Market Forces
We are actively recruiting for Highways Development Managers within the Environment & Transport Department Hertford, Hertfordshire
Recruiter: Hertfordshire County Council

Roadworker Ganger (Civils)

£21,989 to £24,447
City of York Council are looking for a number of Roadworker Gangers to join its Highways Capital Projects Team. York, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: City of York Council

Highways Inspector.

£25,419 - £28,226
You will be responsible for the planning and carrying out statutory highway inspection. Northumberland
Recruiter: Northumberland County Council

Highways Operative - Barrow x4

£22,571 – £23,484
We are looking to recruit a new Highways Operative to our Highways Service. Cumbria
Recruiter: Cumbria County Council

Highway Asset Principal (Performance & Information)

We're eager to find a compelling and persuasive individual to take advantage of this brand-new opportunity within our Highways Asset Team. Lancashire
Recruiter: Lancashire County Council

Inspector / Senior Inspector

£22,129 - £32,798 pa
Bradford Metropolitan District Council is seeking to recruit an Inspector/Senior Inspector to join the friendly Highway Maintenance Team Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: City of Bradford MDC

Highways Presents


Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Video