RIS2 could see £4bn annual capital spend

 

The next Road Investment Strategy (RIS2) is ‘the biggest game in town’, with up to £4bn annual capital spending on the strategic road network, Highways England's chief executive has said.

Giving the opening keynote speech at Traffex this week, Jim O'Sullivan said: ‘RIS2 is quite frankly the biggest game in town. People are starting to talk about investment in the major road network, as well as the strategic road network. People are already engaging in the control period from 2020 to 2025.

'So the changes we have delivered and are continuing to deliver and want to make into the future are huge. This is the big thing. We have started serious work on the next control period 2020 to 2025. We are socialising a number of about £4bn of capital.’

”Local
Highways England chief executive Jim O'Sullivan

He stressed that this was not yet a fixed or agreed number: ‘We are asking: can we afford it? We are asking: can the network withstand it, can we do that much work on our road network at the same time? We are asking the supply chain if they can deliver it.’

He added: ‘We would like to see that [spending] flat across the five years.'

On the achievements of the Government-owned company since it was created in 2015, Mr O’Sullivan said: ‘Two years ago we were saying we need to do what it says on the tin. We are now in a place where we are doing what it says on the tin.

‘In terms of delivery, we have opened all the schemes that were expected – on time. We’ve started work on all the schemes we are supposed to have started work on.’

Mr O’Sullivan also highlighted improvements in safety and customer service. He said Highways England’s investment programme, has on average had a benefit cost ratio of 2.5.

‘What that means is that for every pound of government money that we invest, two pounds fifty goes into the economy and of that two pounds fifty probably about half of it goes back to the Treasury.’

‘What’s not to like in that investment case?’ he asked.

Mr O’Sullivan cited the recent opening of a new £192m stretch of the A556 in Cheshire, noting that Highways England’s targeted journey time saving was 10 minutes. But he said: ‘Some commuters were telling me it was saving me as much as 20 minutes on their commute time in the morning. So we know these roads make a difference.’

He added that recent feasibility studies show that Highways England is ‘starting to look even longer term’.

‘Things like the A1 north of Newcastle. I think there’s a long- term ambition to see that dualled throughout its length. The economic case isn’t great but we are starting to do the strategic study as to how you might go about that, what timescale you might do it over,’ he said.

On the designated funds within the current RIS that are set aside for issues like housing and growth, the environment, safety and vulnerable users, Mr O’Sullivan said: ‘I’m a great advocate of us having a pot of money which has to be used for these social and environmental causes and I’d like to see that perpetuated into RIS2.’

He encouraged people to lobby himself and ‘the people who have a say over these things’ to make sure that this approach is maintained.

Mr O’Sullivan said integration with other aspects of the transport network and devolution were two big challenges for the future.

In a ‘Brexit context’, he said Highways England was looking to smooth the transport journeys of big exporters like Land Rover and JCB to the ports.

Summing up, he said that while Highways England has undergone a huge change and has a lot to be proud of, he would not claim that it is ‘the finished article’ or ‘even halfway there’. He concluded by saying that 2020 to 2025 is ‘the next big step’.

The next two years will be focussed on continuing to do what Highways England has done and making sure that RIS2 ‘better meets the needs of the nation, better meets the needs of our stakeholders and not just our road users, and better meets the needs of government and our supply chain’.

 

Also see

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Career Grade Drainage Engineer

Swindon Borough Council
£19,092 to £40,680 p.a
Working in the asset management team, you’ll support the work of the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) and Highways Authority. Swindon, Wiltshire
Recuriter: Swindon Borough Council

Assistant Director (Planning, Regeneration & Transport)

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
£87,791 per annum  
This is an exciting time to join Rotherham and make a real difference. We are looking for an outstanding Assistant Director who will bring... Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Highway Construction Project Manager

Brent Council
£50,442 - £53,526 p.a. inc.
We are looking for an accomplished highway construction project manager to support the delivery of two high priority highway schemes. Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Traffic Signals & UTMC Manager

Bristol City Council
£42,683 - £45,591 (from 1st April onwards)
Looking for someone with proven management experience, enthusiasm, creativity, vision and good communication skills. City of Bristol
Recuriter: Bristol City Council

Highways Estimator

Ringway
Competitive Salary
As the Highways Estimator you will join a busy environment and become an integral part of the team. Hounslow (London Borough), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Ringway

Principal Highways Project Engineer

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
£34,106 - £35,229 per annum
The post holder will be responsible for project managing the delivery of two highway projects on the Key Route Network. Knowsley (Metropolitan borough), Merseyside
Recuriter: Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Traffic Schemes Officer

Oxfordshire County Council
£22,021 - £29,636 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen to play a central role with the Traffic Team in the maintenance of the highway network... Kidlington, Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council

Traffic Engineer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£29,055 to £30,756
This is an exciting opportunity to join Telford & Wrekin Council’s Traffic Management Team! Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Assistant Engineer – Traffic Regulation

Telford & Wrekin Council
£23,866 to £25,463
This is an exciting opportunity to join Telford & Wrekin Council’s Traffic Management Team. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Environment Officer

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£29,909 – £32,233 Grade 11 - £33,136 - £35,229
All Environment Officers lead, project manage and/or co-ordinate large environmental projects... Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Highways Quantity Surveyor

Leicester City Council
£30,756 - £33,136 pro-rata per annum
Working in the Highways Maintenance Group, you will be responsible for the operational highway maintenance activities Leicester, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicester City Council

Highways Engineer/Inspector

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£22956 - £32637 per annum
Highways Engineer/Inspector - PermanentThere are plenty of reasons to take a closer look at Royal Greenwich.Royal Greenwich is undergoing a huge trans England, London, Woolwich
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Senior Project Engineer

Derbyshire County Council
Grade 13 £39,867 - £43,282 per annum
Derbyshire County Council is looking for an enthusiastic, enterprising and experienced laboratory manager Derbyshire
Recuriter: Derbyshire County Council

Engineer - Bridges

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
We have a vacancy for a Structures Engineer working within the Bridge’s team! Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
You will be required to lead the delivery of a wide range of highway improvements and maintenance projects... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Highway Supervision Engineer x 2

Somerset County Council
£24,657 - £28,221 per annum
You should be self-motivated, enthusiastic, confident, work well within a team environment and strive to support the deliver high quality services. Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Senior Development Infrastructure Officer

Somerset County Council
£29,055 - £33,136 per annum
You should be self-motivated, enthusiastic, confident, work well within a team environment and strive to deliver high quality services. Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Principal Development Infrastructure Officer

Somerset County Council
£33,136 - £37,107 per annum
You should be self-motivated, enthusiastic, confident, work well within a team environment and strive to deliver high quality services... Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Principal Highway Design Engineer

Somerset County Council
£33,136 - £37,107 per annum
You should be self-motivated, enthusiastic, confident, work well within a team environment and strive to deliver high quality services. Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Improvement and Asset Managers – Highways

North Yorkshire County Council
£42,683 to £45,591
We have exciting opportunities for Improvement and Asset Managers to join our highways service at North Yorkshire County Council. Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council