Highways England looks 'beyond its own boundaries' in operational strategy


Highways England has outlined a four-pillar network operational strategy that it vowed would look beyond ‘its own boundaries’ and integrate with local networks for the first time.

It is based around principles of demand management, maximizing network availability, utilization of more proactive tools and tactics and a better understanding of driving habits.

Published this week, the strategy is in response to tough government targets handed to the national network operator, which must be achieved amid an £11bn capital investment programme over the next five years.

Targets include ensuring that lane availability does not fall below 97% in any one rolling year, and to clear at least 85% of all motorway incidents within one hour.

Outlining a broad change of approach, Highways England states: ‘Until now we have largely focussed on elements we can control within our own boundaries, but our customers expect a quality journey no matter who operates the road they are travelling on.

‘To give our customers what they want, our operation will become more integrated with the transport systems around it, including local authority roads, the traffic information community, and other transport providers.

Increasingly it will be through working with others that we will increase the benefits for our customers and create solutions of the future.’

Building on this commitment, the government-owned company highlighted that its on-road traffic officers currently mostly work on the motorways, however a pilot scheme has been started for them to provide greater coverage of our whole road network.

It also raised plans to develop a better understanding of our customers and driving habits to create more ‘proactive traffic management tools’ that can start to predict and pre-empt problems on our roads.

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