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), announced in December 2014, covered investment in England’s motorways and major roads – the strategic road network (SRN) – during the 2015 to 2020 road period. It outlined a multi-year investment plan covering costs of operating, maintaining, renewing and enhancing the SRN (including more than 100 major schemes) funded by £15.2 billion of public money. This was the initial step in a long-term programme to improve England’s motorways and major roads.

The process was repeated in developing the second Road investment strategy (RIS2) covering the second road period 2020 to 2025. Another £24.5 billion will be spent during the second RIS period.

RIS3 needs to be developed over the coming years so that work on delivering long-term improvements to our roads, as well as their ongoing operation, maintenance and renewal, can continue seamlessly beyond 2025. There are a number of steps that need to be completed leading up to 2025, which can be summarised in 3 phases:

  • research
  • decision
  • mobilisation

RIS 3 research phase

To develop a RIS 3 that meets our aims and ensures 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:

  • National Highways Route Strategies process
  • output from ongoing Strategic Studies into complex problems facing the road network that may need to be addressed over multiple road periods
  • the RIS Pipeline – schemes identified in RIS2 that are being developed for potential delivery in future RISs, but are not committed

Further information is available in Preparing the third road investment strategy.

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

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

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

Research phase: Northern Trans-Pennine

Research phase: Trans-Pennine tunnel

Research phase: Manchester north-west quadrant

Research phase: A1 east of England

Research phase: M25 south-west quadrant

Research phase: aims and process


Published 30 November 2015
Last updated 1 December 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added Preparing the third road investment strategy (RIS3).

  2. Final road investment strategy for 2020 to 2025 added.

  3. Government objectives and research publications added.

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

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

  6. M25 south-west quadrant strategic study reports.

  7. Stage 3 strategic studies.

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

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

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

  11. First published.