Highways Monitor - Annual assessment of Highways England’s performance

16 July 2018

This is the Office of Rail and Road’s annual assessment of Highways England's performance and delivery of its investment plan, covering the period from April 2017 to March 2018.

Highways England is the government-owned company responsible for England's strategic road network.

Our report finds that Highways England continues to operate a road network which is safe and serviceable, and has largely met its performance targets.

Laid in Parliament on 16 July 2018, the annual assessment of Highways England's performance April 2017 – March 2018, found that:

  • Highways England's performance in operating the network has remained steady
    in 2017-18

    In the context of increased traffic it has kept the network flowing. Road user safety remains good compared to other road networks, although the challenging target for 2020 is at risk. Highways England is becoming more customer-focused, and has plans for further improvement. Road user satisfaction remains high, but is below target.
  • Highways England is delivering more improvements on its roads but it must manage costs
    The company has improved its planning and management of major schemes, and is delivering the majority of these on time. It has demonstrated improved management of its capital portfolio. Its forecast costs for the road period have reduced, but remain above its funding, partly reflecting delivery of additional scope and planned over programming. It must continue to take action to manage this position. Investment through its ring-fenced funds has increased, but is slower than originally planned.
  • Highways England is improving the condition of the strategic road network
    Network condition has improved during the year, and is now on target. The company has set out long-term plans for improving the identification, planning and delivery of asset maintenance and renewal works.
  • Highways England is delivering efficiencies but more evidence is required that its road period target is on track
    It has reported £486m of cost savings in the road period to date (40% of its target), £226m of which are in 2017-18. This is supported by clear evidence of specific improvements made. The company needs to continue to develop its evidence that reported savings are supported by its capital portfolio delivery and its unit costs.

Supporting documents for annual assessment 2017-18

  • Review of Highways England's capital delivery plan - July 2018
    The review was to examine the deliverability and affordability of Highways England current five year RP1 capital plan as it approached its final two years. It was intended to be forward-looking, considering the implications for the remainder of RP1 and beyond. The specific review objectives were to assess Highways England's capital plan: (1) whether its Capital Plan is deliverable in RP1; (2) whether its Capital Plan is affordable in RP1; and (3) the Capital Plan impact on RP2.

What Highways England need to deliver by 2020