Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 456 - 459)




  456. Good morning, gentlemen, may I welcome you to the Committee this morning and ask you to identify yourselves?
  (Mr Matthews) My name is Tim Matthews. I am the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency.
  (Mr Thorndike) My name is Richard Thorndike and I am a Director of the Highways Agency.

  457. Did you want to make any general opening remarks?
  (Mr Matthews) No, I am content to go straight to questions, thank you.

  458. May I ask whether you have changed the way you decide on particular objectives because of the new environmental emphasis?
  (Mr Matthews) Two main things flowed from both of the two New Deal documents, the general Integrated Transport White Paper and the specific New Deal for Trunk Roads, as far as environmental issues are concerned. One is that the Agency now has, both in the short term in its business plan and over the ten-year period, some very explicit environmental targets to meet in relation to noise, biodiversity planning and such like. Those are very clearly written in and public in our business plans and we are held annually to account for delivering those.

  459. Do you think that is different from the way it used to be?
  (Mr Matthews) Yes. Until the Integrated Transport White Paper there certainly were not any explicit environmentally related targets which the Agency had to meet, certainly not formulated in the systematic way they are now.

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