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 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
- Annual assessment of Highways England's performance - 2017-18 (web version)
- Annual assessment of Highways England's performance - 2017-18 (print version)
- 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.
- Review of Highways England asset management - geotechnical and drainage assets - Report by RSKW for the ORR including findings and recommendations – May 2018
We commissioned RSKW to carry out a deep dive review of Highways England's management of geotechnical and drainage assets, focussing upon the planning and delivery of renewals and interventions.
- Highways England's approach to delivering schemes through its ring-fenced funds – CEPA report for the ORR – 2 February 2018
We commissioned Cambridge Economic Policy Associates to review Highways England's progress in delivering projects through its ring-fenced funds. This includes an additional annex which contains 12 in-depth case studies.
Previous assessments of Highways England’s performance
- Annual assessment of Highways England's performance - 2016-17 (web version)
- Annual assessment of Highways England's performance - 2016-17 (print version)
- Our first annual assessment of Highways England’s performance - April 2015 - March 2016
- Our annual Assessment of Highways England’s performance - April 2015 - March 2016 (print version)
- Our annual Assessment of Highways England’s performance - April 2015 - March 2016 (summary)
- Our six month review of Highways England’s performance - April – September 2015 (web version)
- Our six month review of Highways England’s performance - April – September 2015 (print version)
- Our infographic on what Highways England need to deliver by 2020