Chief executive of Highways England, Graham Dalton, has said the new strategic highways company has ‘no plans’ to operate a commercial enterprise selling expertise or knowledge.
As a government-owned company the body is not a private sector entity but has been given more scope to develop a strategic role in managing the motorway and trunk road network.
Mr Dalton told Transport Network: ‘We have no plans to do so [sell knowledge to the public or private sectors]. The skills, know-how and knowledge we have we are investing in the network we have got. We will be using the resources we have on the network we have.
‘There is a consulting industry behind us, who do very well by exporting knowledge gained from working on our network, which is helpful to UK industry.’
A key area of increasing knowledge and skills at Highways England’s is smart motorways, which convert the hard shoulder into a live running lane with the use of new responsive infrastructure including signage and overhead gantries.
Mr Dalton said that the initial aim was to ensure that dual four lane and hard shoulder running was at least as safe as a three-lane motorway.
‘We do not yet have a full 12 months of data, but the indicators are it [our smart motorways] is achieving that objective,’ he said.
Mr Dalton added that Highways England sees an opportunity in automated vehicles and potential freight platoons especially in terms of road safety.
Highways England officials revealed they would be working ‘more closely with the vehicle design and manufacturing industry’ as they look to eventually adapt infrastructure to meet the needs of more automated vehicles.