The regulator for monitoring Britain’s highways and railways has found that Highways England has met most of its targets over the last year.
This verdict has come from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), the independent safety and economic regulator, who said, in the time between April 2016 and March 2017, found that Highways England has managed to keep traffic flowing while at the same time, delivering a major improvements programme.
Its work has become much more efficient too, with savings over the last two years totalling £169 million.
ORR’s annual assessment of Highways England’s performance was laid in Parliament last week, with highlights including confirmation that improving safety is a key priority of the organisation which operates, monitors and improves Britain’s motorways and A-roads.
Highways England is also developing plans to help deliver major improvements over the road network, thereby reducing any potential disruption that road users may encounter, while delivering better value for money.
It’s positive news for the organisation, who have a series of key targets between now and 2020.
This includes clearing 85% of motorway incidents within one hour, ensuring 97% of lanes are available in any one rolling year, saving £1.2 billion on capital expenditure and making significant noise reductions.
ORR did however, note that Highways England still needs to improve its performance. One of its targets is to hit a 90% satisfaction rate for road users.
ORR found that this target was missed, recorded at 89.1%, which represents a slight decrease from the year before too.
In addition, the percentage of road in good condition was recorded at 94.3%, which is lower than the 95% target.
These areas will be monitored over the year to track progress and improvement.
Joanna Whittington, Chief Executive at ORR, commented: “Highways England has three main priorities: safety of road users and road workers, road user satisfaction, and delivery of the five-year investment plan.
“The company will need to continue to work hard to achieve all three of these, while keeping on top of maintenance and renewals, and meeting its £1.2 billion savings target by 2020.
“We nevertheless welcome the company’s response to our concerns over the need to develop better plans for major improvement schemes.
“Highways England has also responded positively to recommendations from our in-depth review of how it manages its assets.
“Improvements that the company is planning in these areas will help deliver a better experience for road users and cost savings for taxpayers.”