ORR sets the framework for monitoring Highways England’s performance

29 October 2015

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has published details of how Highways England will be held to account for delivering more than £11bn of investment in England's motorways and main A roads over the next five years.

'Monitoring Highway England - the monitoring framework' sets out how ORR will monitor Highways England's performance in areas including making the strategic road network safer, minimising disruption from roadworks or incidents, and delivering better environmental outcomes. It also explains how ORR will hold Highways England to account for efficient delivery, for example of major improvement schemes.

The document sets out how ORR will carry out its highways monitoring function through expert analysis of performance data, strong engagement with stakeholders and transparent reporting and commentary on Highways England's progress.

'Monitoring Highways England' is the product of consultation with road users, the highways supply chain, government and wider stakeholders. ORR took on responsibility for informing how we'll monitor Highways England's performance and delivery of the road investment strategy in April 2015.

Commenting on the publication of the framework, ORR's Highways Director, Peter Antolik, said:

Road users and taxpayers expect a high performing, value for money strategic road network. The framework published today sets out how ORR will hold Highways England to account for delivering its significant investment portfolio to improve our roads.
Transparent, robust and expert analysis and challenge of Highways England's planning and delivery is essential in driving value for money improvements to the road network – and to realising benefits for drivers and other road users, and the wider economy.

ORR also announced the appointment of two further senior industry figures to its Highways Committee, augmenting the skills and experience of the team delivering the monitoring function. Terry Hill and Garrett Emmerson join the Committee alongside Professor Stephen Glaister, Emeritus Professor of Imperial College and former Director of the RAC Foundation, and other ORR Board members.

ORR will shortly be publishing its first assessment of Highways England's performance, looking at the progress the organisation has made in its first six months as a government-owned company, as well as its Enforcement Policy, which explains how Highways England will be held to account.

The final document and a list of all responses received, can be found at: https://orr.gov.uk/consultations/policy-consultations/closed-consultations/closed-consultations-2015/monitoring-highways-england

Notes to editors

  1. The Office of Rail and Road is the independent economic and safety rail regulator as well as the independent strategic roads monitor.
  2. ORR's monitoring role for strategic roads primarily focuses on;
    1. monitoring how well Highways England is delivering on its targets;
    2. considering enforcement action to drive improvements if there are delivery problems; and
    3. advising the Secretary of State on the development of the next Road Investment Strategy and other relevant issues.
  3. Last year the UK government announced a £15bn roads investment plan for England's strategic roads network between 2015-16 and 2020-21 (£11bn for the first five-year Roads Investment Period). Through the Infrastructure Act 2015, reforms have also been made to the structure of the roads sector to support this significant investment programme.
  4. On 1 April 2015, the Highways Agency was replaced by a government-owned company, Highways England, with specific performance requirements and investments to deliver over the funding period. ORR has taken on responsibility for the independent monitoring of Highways England's management of the strategic road network to ensure it meets its performance and efficiency targets.
  5. The Government has set Highways England specific performance targets including making the network safer; minimising disruption from road works and incidents; delivering better environmental outcomes; and increasing the capacity of the network.
  6. ORR has complemented its existing team to deliver its monitoring function, ensuring that it has the right skills, expertise and experience in place to deliver its responsibilities from operational to board level. It has recently made a number of senior appointments to its Highways Committee [LINK] as well as ORR's main board [LINK] to further sharpen its highways expertise.
  7. Terry Hill, CBE, FREng
    Terry Hill is a Trustee of the Arup Group owning Trusts, a non-executive Director of Crossrail Ltd and the Transport Systems Catapult innovation centre. Terry was President of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) for two years, 2013 -2014, and also a founder member of the IUK Advisory Council, and led its Infrastructure Cost Review.
    A civil engineer and economist, Terry Hill has led many infrastructure investments and has a proven record of achievement in innovative transport, highways, metro and high speed rail. Terry was previously Chair of the £1bn turnover, 11,000 staff Arup Group Ltd and its owning Trusts from 2004 – 2013 and before that led its global Transport Market and Infrastructure Division, where his role centred on consulting, infrastructure and managing major projects. Originally from Manchester, Terry Hill lives in the UK near London, is married and has threesons.
  8. Garrett Emmerson
    Garrett Emmerson is Chief Operating Officer for Surface Transport, at Transport for London. He is responsible for the operation of the capital's major road network; traffic signals across London; congestion charging and traffic enforcement and the operation of the Surface Transport and Traffic Control Centre. Garrett is also responsible for surface transport infrastructure asset management and implementation of TfL's £4bn road investment programme, as well as modal service operations including: Santander Cycle Hire; taxi and private hire regulation; river and coach services and London Dial-a-Ride.
  9. Garrett was previously TfL's Director of Strategy and, before that, a director of transport consultancy Steer Davies Gleave. He is a former Head of Buckinghamshire County Council's Transportation Service and a former Member of the Government Commission for Integrated Transport. He is currently member of the Government's Motorists' Forum advisory body on national roads policy.
  10. In December 2014, Government published its vision for the strategic road network https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/road-investment-strategy-strategic-vision and the Performance Specification – the objectives that Highways England must deliver in Road Period 1 (RP1) from 01 April 2015 to 31 March 2020.