Road investment strategy: post-2020

Sets out the process developing the next 'Road investment strategy' to continue long-term improvements to our motorways and major roads.

The first Road investment strategy (RIS 1) covered investment in England’s motorways and major roads (the ‘strategic road network’) during the 2015 to 2020 road period. This was the initial step in a long-term programme to improve England’s motorways and major roads. The process is repeatable and work is now underway to develop the second RIS — known as RIS 2 — covering the second road period post 2020.

RIS 1 was announced by the government in December 2014. It outlined a multi-year investment plan including over 100 major schemes funded by £15.2 billion of public money. RIS 2 needs to be developed over the coming years so that work on delivering long-term improvements to our roads can continue seamlessly beyond 2020. There are a number of steps that need to be completed leading up to 2020, which can be summarised in 3 phases:

  • research
  • decision
  • mobilisation

RIS 2 research phase

To develop a RIS 2 that meets our aims and ensure our investment decisions are the right ones, a robust research phase will need to be completed. The main sources of information for this research will be the 6 strategic studies and the programme of refreshed route strategies covering the entire network.

The strategic studies address some of the biggest challenges facing the road network, including the:

  • Northern Trans-Pennine — the A66 and A69 corridors
  • Trans-Pennine tunnel — linking Manchester to Sheffield
  • Manchester north-west quadrant — the M60 from junctions 8 to 18
  • A1 east of England — from the M25 to Peterborough
  • Oxford to Cambridge expressway
  • M25 south-west quadrant

Road investment strategy 2

The second road investment strategy, influenced by the feasibility and research reports listed, was released on 11 March 2020

Research phase: Strategic Road Network

Proposals for the Strategic Road Network (SRN) and its current and future needs.

  1. Evaluation of roads reform: wave 1 and wave 2 reports
  2. Technology and RIS2
  3. Road connectivity for ports and airports study
  4. Induced travel demand: an evidence review
  5. Future roads: public dialogue
  6. Factors impacting road traffic growth
  7. Shaping the future of England’s strategic roads (RIS2)
  8. Highways England’s Strategic Road Network Initial Report
  9. Analysis to inform RIS2: DfT's strategy

Research phase: Northern Trans-Pennine

  1. Stage 3 report on improving the A66 and A69
  2. Interim report on improving the A66 and A69
  3. Stakeholder presentations on improving the A66 and A69
  4. Terms of reference for the Northern Trans-Pennine strategic study

Research phase: Trans-Pennine tunnel

  1. Trans-Pennine tunnel strategic study: stage 3 report
  2. Trans-Pennine tunnel strategic study: updated interim report
  3. Trans-Pennine tunnel strategic study: stakeholder reference group
  4. Trans-Pennine tunnel strategic study: terms of reference

Research phase: Manchester north-west quadrant

Research phase: A1 east of England

  1. A1 East of England strategic study: stage 3 report
  2. A1 east of England strategic study: interim report
  3. A1 east of England strategic study: stakeholder reference group
  4. A1 east of England strategic study: terms of reference

Research phase: Oxford to Cambridge expressway

Research phase: M25 south-west quadrant

Research phase: aims and process


  1. Highways England’s intelligent network of the future
  2. English regions to benefit from transport investment worth £3 billion
  3. Roads funding
  4. The Northern transport strategy: first annual update
Published 30 November 2015
Last updated 11 March 2020 + show all updates
  1. Final road investment strategy for 2020 to 2025 added.

  2. Government objectives and research publications added.

  3. Strategic outline business case for the Oxford to Cambridge expressway added.

  4. Consultation on shaping the future of England’s strategic roads.

  5. M25 south-west quadrant strategic study reports.

  6. Stage 3 strategic studies.

  7. Trans-Pennine tunnel, A1 east of England, and Oxford to Cambridge Expressway studies.

  8. 'Road investment strategy post 2020: planning ahead' published.

  9. Northern Trans-Pennine and Manchester north-west quadrant strategic study reports published.

  10. First published.