Highways report cover

In December Highways England publishes their first Strategic Road Network Initial Report. The Initial Report sets out their advice to government about where we believe priorities should be focused for the second road period, which runs between 2020 and 2025.

It is based on extensive engagement they have undertaken and evidence they have gathered on the Strategic Road Network. This has enabled them to develop a better understanding of how people use and are affected by our network..  They’ve also considered the trends that will affect future road use so they also set out our emerging long-term vision for the future.

Although the report does not recommend specific schemes, it shows how they are developing their thinking on the future investment priorities across the country. They want your views on whether these are the right areas to focus on for the second road investment period. The full report is published on their website so please take time to read it.

In summary, the findings show:

  • continue to focus on our operations, maintenance and renewals: these essential areas lay the foundation for a safe, reliable and resilient network.
  • Build the Smart Motorways spine of the network:  These are enhancing capacity between our major cities and our advice is to continue to develop the Smart Motorway network through the second Road Period.
  • Rollout expressways: Driving forward the ambition from the first Road Investment Strategy to develop an expressway network.
  • Transformational investments need to be undertaken: It is clear that, while taking advantage of new technologies on existing roads is important, there are places where we need to implement the next generation of transformational schemes.
  • investment programme must be balanced and also deliver small and medium schemes: Highways England wants to ensure that there is sufficient funding for medium and small-sized schemes alongside transformational investments
  • Working with stakeholders to redefine Designated Funds to increase their reach:
  • Preparing for the future: 

The SRN initial report forms part of the Department for Transport’s public consultation on future funding on the SRN.