Complaints procedure

How to make a complaint about Highways England

If you’re unhappy with any part of the service we provide, we want to hear about your experiences so we can learn from them and improve.

Before you begin

Highways England manages motorways and major trunk roads in England. We are not able to respond to queries about roads we do not manage, so please check our responsibilities and the roads we manage before you start.

Complaints regarding traffic and transport regulations, legislation and policy should be addressed to the Department for Transport.

FOI and Environmental Information complaints

We have a separate procedure for complaints about Freedom of Information releases and Environmental Information regulations.

FOI EIR leaflet

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How to complain

Set out your complaint clearly, including relevant dates, times and locations. Send it to us at

Our customer contact centre will always try to resolve your complaint at the first point of contact. We aim to respond to all queries within 15 working days. If we’re going to take longer, we’ll let you know why and when we can reply.

You can alternatively contact us by phone on 0300 123 5000 (local rate call). If you prefer to send a letter, the address is:

Highways England
National Traffic Operations Centre
3 Ridgeway
Quinton Business Park
B32 1AF

Unreasonable complaints

If a complaint becomes unreasonable we may require you to contact us in a particular way. We’ll let you know if we believe your complaint is unreasonable – usually if you:

  • refuse to follow our complaints procedure
  • refuse to be specific or continually change the basis of your complaint
  • make excessive demands on staff resource
  • submit repeated complaints on the same issue
  • use abusive language

Stage 1: Local resolution

If our customer contact centre can’t provide an answer or you aren’t happy with their initial response, they’ll ask the relevant area of our business to investigate and respond.

Stage 2: Review

If you’re unhappy with the response provided by the relevant business area, you can ask for your complaint to be reviewed and investigated.

We will aim to send a full response within 15 working days.

Stage 3: Independent review

If you’re not happy with our review, you can ask us to refer your complaint to an Independent Complaints Assessor (ICA). Please be aware that the ICA can only review decisions in certain circumstances.

What the ICA can review

  • bias or discrimination
  • unfair treatment
  • poor or misleading advice
  • failure to give information
  • mistakes
  • unreasonable delays
  • poor administration
  • inappropriate staff behaviour

What the ICA cannot review

  • legislation
  • Highways England policy
  • matters where only a court, tribunal or other body can decide the outcome
  • legal proceedings that have already started and will decide the outcome
  • an ongoing investigation or enquiry
  • personnel and disciplinary decisions or actions as an employer

An ICA can’t review your complaint if it’s being or has been investigated by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. They can’t usually look at any complaint that:

  • hasn’t completed all stages of our complaints process
  • is more than six months old from the date of our final response

Parliamentary Ombudsman

If you think we have not done everything possible to resolve your complaint, you can also ask a Member of Parliament to contact us on your behalf. Or you can ask them to refer your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).

The PHSO will expect you to have tried to resolve your complaint at the earlier stages of our complaints procedure before they look into it.

Our complaints procedure does not prejudice or prevent a referral of your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.