Watch this space: DfT tweaks MRN

18/12/2018
Chris Ames

The Government has published its long-awaited revised plans for the major road network (MRN) of key local authority roads, including amended criteria for inclusion in the network and a reduced role for Highways England.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has set out its response to a consultation on its original plans, which ran from December last year to 19 March.

It said it would go ahead with its proposals for the creation of the MRN with changes, including:

  • amendments to the criteria for defining the network of roads that will be eligible for MRN funding
  • refinement of the role of Highways England in support this programme of work
  • greater flexibility in the application of the financial thresholds

However, a DfT spokesperson told Highways that an indicative online map of the network has not been updated as part of the announcment.

In October, transport secretary Chris Grayling announced the first five schemes to receive Government funding, despite the fact that neither the network itself nor the criteria had been announced. 

In the Budget later that month, chancellor Philip Hammond announced that the MRN would receive £3.5bn between 2020 and 2025, funded by the hypothecation of Vehicle Excise Duty.

The DfT said in a document published on Tuesday (18 December) that it had set out the specific quantitative and qualitative criteria that have been used in reviewing the network, adding that it had adopted a number of suggestions that came from the consultation responses.

These include not automatically including roads that were de-trunked; flexibility for including roads just below the traffic flow thresholds; and adding in roads that are under construction and due to be completed by 2020/21.

Some suggestions for specific roads to be included or excluded from the network were also considered and accepted ‘where they fit with the overall programme criteria and do not distort the network’.

The DfT said that based on consultation responses, it has refined the role of Highways England to focus on supporting sub-national transport bodies and regional groupings in the development of their regional evidence base and supporting it in assessing the validity of cost estimates for proposed MRN schemes.

Concerns raised by consultation respondents included not increasing the burden on Highways England when it has a significant Road Investment Strategy to deliver and that its role should not lead to an increase in bureaucracy, while Highways England advice should not be at the expense of local and regional knowledge.

The document also states that: ‘Work is continuing with Highways England to investigate trunking and de-trunking options. As a result there may be some reclassifications of roads between the SRN and MRN designations that will be incorporated into the network in due course.’

On funding, the DfT said there are no planned changes to the types of schemes eligible but that ‘taking on board the views expressed in the responses, we will be pragmatic in the application of financial thresholds allowing, in exceptional cases, scheme proposals with a strong case to be considered for MRN funding even if they are outside of the prescribed thresholds’. Funding for an MRN scheme will normally be £20m-£50m.

The DfT has also published guidance on bidding for MRN or large local major schemes.

Mayor Dave Hodgson, chair of England’s Economic Heartland’s Strategic Transport Forum, said: ‘There is much in this to welcome, including the role that sub-national transport bodies such as England’s Economic Heartland will play in setting out regional investment priorities.’

He added: ‘We are still awaiting news on whether our two proposals for "early entry" into the investment programme – improving capacity on the A414 in Hertfordshire and dualling of the Eastern Link Road in Aylesbury – will be taken forward.

'This is despite funding announcements for MRN schemes elsewhere in the country having already taken place.’

 

 

Highways jobs

Transport Planner

Camden London Borough Council
£33,122 to £38,423
You’ll have previous experience of working in a transport/planning/accessible transport environment Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Parking Business Administrator Level 3 Apprenticeship

Brent Council
£15,000 p.a. inc.
This role will support the Brent Parking Team work to provide administrative support for both the Notice Processing Team Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Principal Engineer (Development)

Liverpool City Council
£37,849 - £42,683
Liverpool City Council wish to recruit a Principal Engineer (Development) to provide managerial and technical support. Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Traffic Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
We are looking to recruit a Traffic Manager to join our Highways team Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Team Leader x2 - Passenger Transport

Redbridge London Borough Council
£27,228 - £28,215 per annum
You will be responsible for overseeing the duties of Passenger Transport drivers as well as providing support to the service and managers. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

UTMC Engineer

Warrington Borough Council
£31,371 - £34,788
You will support the UTMC Principal Engineer and work as part of a team responsible for all aspects of Urban Traffic Management and Control Warrington, Cheshire
Recuriter: Warrington Borough Council

Programme Assurance Manager Public Realm

Westminster City Council
£46,293 - £49,203 per annum
A graduate, or have equivalent experience, and you can show evidence of continued professional, managerial and personal development... City of Westminster, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Westminster City Council

Trading Standards Officer (Intellectual Property)

Camden London Borough Council
£36,630 - £42,490 Per annum
Seeking to recruit highly motivated and experienced Trading Standards Officer’s to join our busy Business and Consumer Services team. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Project Manager (LED Project)

Camden London Borough Council
£40,829 - £47,360
Seking a knowledgeable and engaging Project Manager to lead, shape and steer a professional engineering service.   Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Principal Planning Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£42,656 to £51,690
We have an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic Principal Planning Officer within our Development Management Team, based in Richmond.  Twickenham, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Programme Technician/Engineer

Norfolk County Council
£29,636 - £31,371 per annum
This is a challenging position which involves working across wide ranging activities. Norwich, Norfolk
Recuriter: Norfolk County Council

Health and Safety Environmental Health Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£36,630 - £42,490 per annum
The Successful candidate will hold BSc/MSc or Diploma in Environmental Health and be EHRB registered as an... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Safety, Health and Environment Technician Apprentice

North Yorkshire County Council
£19,171 to £19,945
Are you a self-starter, have a willingness to learn and have a proactive approach? Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Head of Parking and Traffic Services

Redbridge London Borough Council
Up to £79,000 + benefits
Lead progress in parking Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Senior Environmental Services Strategy and Change Officer

Brent Council
£42,684 - £45,585 p.a. inc.
You will be experienced and skilled at designing and delivering cultural change in a large complex organisation and... Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Project Director (Liveable Exeter Garden City)

Exeter City Council
Up to £75,000 per annum
Our goal is to make Exeter a leading sustainable city Exeter, Devon
Recuriter: Exeter City Council

Senior Engineer – Highways & Major Projects

Bedford Borough Council
£37,849 - £42,683 per annum
Candidates should be enthusiastic, keen to pass on knowledge to team members and must be both a dynamic member of a team and be... Bedford, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Highway Asset Engineer

Lambeth Council
£38,403 pa rising in annual increments to £41,466 pa incl LW
Lambeth is a vibrant place with a diverse population and an exciting cultural scene. Lambeth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Lambeth Council

Environmental Strategy Assistants - 5 jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£18,795 - £19,171
As an Environmental Strategy Assistant you will provide accurate and concise information that can be used for management information purposes. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Assistant Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,589 - £31,371
Great opportunity for someone looking to start or develop a career in Highways Engineering including the opportunity to... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Highways on Fridays

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Zero carbon roads?

Modelling the future

A breath of fresh air

View the latest issue

Latest Video