Highways England has revealed how it will spend £11bn over the next five years once it takes responsibility for the country’s motorways and major A-roads network from 1 April.
A new delivery plan has committed the new government-owned company to delivering 112 individual projects from 2015-2020, including introduction of smart motorways, technology trials and support for cyclists.
While Highways England’s £11bn capital programme will run from 2015/16 to 2020, the Government has earmarked £15bn of funding over the next six years for road upgrades in England – granting the body a rollover year.
Highways England today said its plans would produce a modernised network and generate £4 in long-term economic benefits for every £1 invested.
Highways England chief executive, Graham Dalton, said: ‘The launch of Highways England is an incredibly significant moment for those who rely on England's motorways and major A roads.
‘As well as delivering the biggest investment in major roads since the 1970s, there will be fundamental changes to the way motorways and major A roads are maintained and operated.
‘We will be focusing on customers, providing better travel information before and during journeys, improving safety and reducing the impact of roadworks.
‘Highways England is the organisation that will meet this challenge. We are committed to a strategic road network in England that is far safer, more free-flowing and more integrated and supports economic growth across the country.’
Some 15 smart motorway projects will be started and over half delivered during the next five years, with work underway on 480 lane miles by 2020.
An expansive road-resurfacing programme will see £3.6bn invested in maintaining the strategic road network. A £718m investment into renewal of surfaces, structures and technology assets will also deliver 230,000 lane miles of drainage and 178,000 lane miles of vehicular barriers.
A programme of cycling improvements will provide over 200 cycling facilities and crossing points around the strategic route network by 2021, with 40 schemes introduced by the end of this year.
Safety improvements will be introduced to cut the number of people killed or seriously injured on England’s roads by 40% in five years time compared to 2010.
Highways England also laid bare how it will aim to improve on the 90% customer satisfaction rating for roads, while using flexible incident responses to keep at least 97% of the network open in any one rolling year.
Pledges were made to stimulate new innovative ideas surrounding in-vehicle innovation and technology on the national network, including wireless power transfer trials, an acoustic tunnel incident detection system at Hindhead and wi-fi systems in the South East.