The terms of reference for a wide-ranging independent review of the strategic road network (SRN) has been published today (7 April 2011) by Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond.
The review - to be led by Alan Cook, non-executive Chairman of the Highways Agency board - is one of a series of measures announced by the Department for Transport (DfT) as part of the spending review settlement to ensure that the Highways Agency is structured in the best way to deliver effective services.
The terms of reference will see the review team consider whether England’s network of motorways and major A roads could be more effectively operated, maintained and enhanced. The team will draw on expertise from across various sectors and organisations during the course of the review to provide guidance and feedback from outside government.
The review will formally get underway after Easter and Mr Cook will report his findings to the Transport Secretary in October.
Philip Hammond said:
Given the current fiscal climate, it is essential that all parts of Government strive for greater efficiency while delivering effective, value for money services. The Strategic Road Network is crucial to keeping people, goods and services moving and it is vital that we consider whether we could improve how the network is operated, managed and enhanced.
The Highways Agency has already agreed to meet some very tough targets for efficiency improvements as part of the spending review settlement while continuing to tackle congestion through delivery of major road improvement schemes and making better use of the road network.
The independent review will build on this by advising whether broader reform can generate better value for money while ensuring we deliver effective services which support economic growth, maintain high standards of safety and contribute to environmental objectives.
The terms of reference
The review will not be asked to consider the definition, size or shape of the strategic road network itself. Nor will it consider introducing national road pricing.
Notes to editors
The work is to be taken forward by Alan Cook (non-executive Chairman, Highways Agency board).
Mr Cook will be supported by a high level steering group, which will include representatives of the Highways Agency, DfT and HMT and will provide strategic direction.
Mr Cook was appointed as non executive Chairman of the Highways Agency on 10 January 2011.