Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum by the Highways Agency (TYP 59)

THE 10 YEAR PLAN

  1.  The Highways Agency manages the strategic road network in England. The 10 Year Plan sets out a number of outcomes and targets for the Agency. These are outlined below, and set out in further detail in the attached annex, noting progress to date.

  2.  The outcomes can be summarised as Easing Congestion; Effective Maintenance; Safer Travel; Better Information; Quieter Roads; Delivering in Partnership; and Smarter Roads.

  3.  Key issues in terms of Easing Congestion are the completion of 51 early action schemes; 21 major congestion schemes in our Targeted Programme of Improvements; widening some 5 per cent (360 miles/576 kilometres) of our strategic road network with associated junction improvements; completing around 80 schemes, each costing more than £5 million, tackling bottlenecks at other junctions and a further £440 million programme of local improvements. The precise programme of major improvements will be determined by Ministerial decisions on recommendations from the Multi-modal and Roads-based studies.

  4.  Effective maintenance—this means maintaining the road condition to a high standard so that the proportion requiring maintenance in any year is at the optimum level of between 7 per cent and 8 per cent. As well as improving and enhancing our computer-based systems to ensure this target is achieved, the Agency is also taking practical measures, such as carrying out more than 90 per cent of routine maintenance at times when roads are less busy, and providing better information to drivers when delays of more than 10 minutes are likely.

  5.  On Safer Travel. The Government has set a target of reducing by one-third by 2010 the number of people killed or seriously injured on our network, along with 10 per cent reduction in the slight casualty rate. The Agency will complete 49 early action schemes aimed at tackling safety problems and in total a programme of £470 million of local improvements to improve safety.

  6.  Road users need better information about road conditions, both to plan their journeys and while they are travelling. The Agency has already signed a major PFI contract to develop a national Traffic Control Centre. This will be fully operational in early 2004 and will transmit up-to-date advice on road conditions and route choices. The Agency will continue the programme of investment in variable message signs and CCTV motorway cameras.

  7.  Three million people living within 600 metres of trunk roads will benefit from the Agency's plans for Quieter Roads, through the completion of a programme of local noise reduction measures alongside noisy roads and by installing quieter surfaces on over 60 per cent (2,500 miles) of the network, including all concrete stretches.

  8.  Working in partnership with others, the Agency will reduce delivery times for new major schemes, without reducing consultation.

  9.  The Agency will increase the application of New Technology on our roads to improve the real-time management of traffic on our network. This will include the further roll out of automatic queue and incident detection systems and a pilot Active Traffic Management scheme on the M42.

PUBLIC AND PRIVATE FINANCE

  10.  The 10 Year Plan tasks the Agency with developing and operating partnerships and other financial initiatives with the private sector to deliver 25 per cent of the funding required for current and new major schemes.

  11.  The selection of schemes for which private finance might be appropriate will depend on the schemes agreed following the multi-modal and other studies. In reviewing schemes, the Agency will assess their suitability for PFI using the following criteria: schemes with over £50 million in new construction work; schemes offering significant opportunities for risk transfer and innovation; schemes with the opportunity of including a sizeable maintenance area; and groups of smaller schemes that can be linked together to form an attractive package. In addition, each potential scheme will be assessed on whether PFI represents value for money.

  12.  The Agency is confident that on this basis the 25 per cent target can be met.

Tim Matthews

Chief Executive, Highways Agency

Annex

  The following table sets out the Highways Agency's targets from the 10 Year Plan and reports our progress towards achieving them.

EASING CONGESTION

Outcome:

  Reduction in congestion on inter-urban trunk roads to 5 per cent below current growth levels (compared with present forecast growth of 28 per cent) by 2010.


TargetsProgress
—  By 2002, complete the 51 early action schemes aimed at tackling congestion problems on the strategic road network. 12 schemes delivered last financial year—21 schemes expected to complete this financial year with remaining 18 schemes to be delivered in 2002-03.
—  By 2005, start work on all 21 major congestions schemes currently in the Highways Agency's Targeted Programme of Improvements (TPI). There are now 24 major congestion schemes in the TPI. To date, construction has begun on six schemes, three more are due to begin in 2002-03, and one in 2003-4. Subject to statutory procedures, the remaining 14 will have begun by 2006-07.
—  By 2010, subject to multi-modal and other studies, widen some 5 per cent of the strategic road network (360 miles/576 km) and complete associated junction improvements. Work on widening 5 per cent of the strategic network and associated junction improvements is predicated on the outcome of the multi-modal studies.
—  By 2010, subject to multi-modal and other studies, complete around 80 schemes (including those in MMS and other studies), each costing more than £5 million, tackling bottlenecks at other junctions. Although the work on most of these additional 80 major schemes to tackle bottlenecks is predicated on the outcome of the multi-modal studies, the Agency expects to deliver this target. The Agency is likely to deliver more than the planned 80 schemes in total, in particular through interim schemes at locations where full schemes are subject to statutory procedures.
—  By 2010, complete a £440 million programme (including the early action schemes) of localised improvements to strategic routes to tackle congestion. Good progress achieved and continuing on the early action schemes. 17 local economy/congestion schemes are to be delivered this financial year, at a cost of £11.5 million.


EFFECTIVE MAINTENANCE

Outcome:

  Road condition maintained to a high standard, so that the proportion requiring maintenance in any future year is held at an optimum level (between 7 per cent and 8 per cent).

TargetsProgress
—  By 2001, upgrade the existing computer-based road pavement asset management system (Highways Agency Pavement Management System). Upgrades have been made to the system, with further upgrades and modules being added to further improve the system.
—  By 2001, put in place a computer-based road structures asset management system (Structure Management Information System). Achieved. Training of managing agents on the use of the system took place in January 2002. Work to integrate SMIS with other HA systems is on going and due to complete by March 2002.
—  By 2002, undertake 90 per cent of routine maintenance works on the carriageway at times when the roads are less busy. Achieved. Around 99 per cent of routine maintenance across England is now carried out in off-peak periods when roads are less busy.
—  By 2002, provide better information, signing and traffic management techniques, where planned maintenance works are likely to cause delays of more than 10 minutes. Achieved in 98 per cent of cases where works likely to cause delays of more than 10 minutes. Information provided through appropriate advertising, (local papers and roadside), website & HA Information Line.
—  By 2002, upgrade the computer-based routine maintenance asset management system (Routine Maintenance Management System). Work progressing on programme.


SAFER TRAVEL

Outcome:

  A one-third reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured on the strategic road network and a 10 per cent reduction in the slight casualty rate by 2010.

TargetsProgress
—By 2002, complete the 49 early action schemes aimed at tackling safety problems on the national network. 29 schemes delivered last financial year. Delivery of 17 further schemes expected this financial year, leaving only three to be delivered next financial year to meet the target.
—By 2010, contribute to reducing the number of children killed or seriously injured on all roads by 50 per cent, compared with the average for 1994-98. Trunk road accident data for 2000 became available in late 2001 and indicated that HA is on target to deliver this contribution.
—By 2010, complete a £470 million programme (including the early action schemes) of localised improvements to strategic routes to improve safety. In addition to the early action schemes, 180 local safety schemes being delivered this year at a cost of £47 million.

BETTER INFORMATION

Outcome:

  Greater confidence for road users planning their journeys as a result of instant access to information about conditions on the network.

TargetsProgress
—By 2002, introduce a national Highways Agency Traffic control Centre (TCC) which will transmit up-to-date advice on which route to use if there are problems on the English strategic road network. Contract let in December 2001. TCC planned to be fully operational by early 2004.
—By 2003, contribute to the development of Transport Direct (which provides a comprehensive route planning service to the public) and ensure HA systems can supply the necessary data and information on the strategic road network. Being pursued within the development of the TCC service. Target expected to be met.
—By 2003, establish a Traffic Information Highway to provide a common pool of data for use by the public and commercial service providers. Again, being pursued within the development of the TCC service, and target expected to be met.
—By 2003, Variable Message Signs to be installed at all strategic points on the network and able to suggest alternative routes at all key intersections. Survey work underway and designs being developed. Target should be met.
—By 2003, introduce "electronic roads" including extensive roadside monitoring and communications equipment, providing both network controllers and drivers with real-time information about traffic levels, road conditions and incidents. Active Traffic Management (ATM) and TCC are the next significant steps in delivering this service.


QUIETER ROADS

Outcome:

  Reduction in traffic noise benefiting 3 million people living within 600 metres of trunk roads.

TargetProgress
—By 2010, complete a programme of local noise reduction measures to benefit those people living alongside noisy roads that are not subject to the latest noise mitigation standards.
14 sites are to be treated during 2001-02. A further 79 sites have been identified for possible treatment and at least £5 million will be spent each year treating these sites.
—By 2010, have installed quieter surfaces on over 60% (2,500 miles) of the network, including all concrete stretches, to benefit an estimated 3 million people living within around one-third of a mile of trunk roads. 1,662 lane km of the network are to receive quieter surfacing during 2001-02, of which 284 lane km will be over concrete.


DELIVERING IN PARTNERSHIP

Outcome:

  A more effective roads programme, with better valuation of needs, and options, quicker delivery and lower impacts on the environment.

TargetsProgress
—By 2002, put in place improved processes to reduce the time taken to deliver new major road schemes to between five and seven years, without any reduction in consultation. HA's new Procurement Strategy was launched in November 2001. One objective of the strategy is to speed up delivery through earlier involvement of contractors and the use of framework arrangements to save time over conventional arrangements.
—By 2002, define a programme of improved crossing points for non-motorised road users, and by 2008 deliver it. 91 per cent of core network to be surveyed this year to identify and assess non-motorised crossing points for access, safety and convenience. Agency confident that programme of improved crossings can be delivered on time.
—By 2003, develop route management strategies for the complete core network. One study completed with 18 underway. Further studies being placed with consultants and the overall programme has been reviewed to ensure compatibility with the MMS/RBS timetable.
—By 2004, have in place procurement guidance to require contractors to be in possession of an accredited Environmental Management Systems, or meet the requirements of an HAEMS. Draft guidance for the Environmental Management System as it relates to the Network Operator role has been produced. A six-month trial of the guidance to take place during 2002 followed by evaluation, preparation of detailed guidance, then full roll-out.
—By 2005, manage the core HA road network in line with biodiversity Action Plans. 3,489 route kilometres (or around 50 per cent of the network) will be under active biodiversity management by the end of 2001-02. On target to achieve 2005 target.
—By 2005, start construction on all of the 18 new bypasses included in the expanded targeted programme of improvements (announced March 2000). There are now 25 bypass schemes in the TPI. Seven schemes began in 2000-01; seven should begin in 2001-02, with one to follow shortly after. The remaining 10 schemes are subject to statutory procedures, with one anticipated start in 2002-03, one in 2003-04, one in 2004-05, five in 2005-06 and two in 2006-07.
—By 2010, manage the core HA road network in line with comprehensive Environment Management Plans. Around 50 per cent of the network will be under active biodiversity management and around 75 per cent will be under landscape management by the end of 2001-02.
—By 2010, develop and operate partnership and other financial initiatives with the private sector to deliver 25 per cent of the funding required for current and new major schemes. An illustrative programme has been developed to show that this target is achieveable, dependent on the outcome of multi-modal and other studies.
—By 2010, commence construction of all the bypasses identified by 2003 in multi-modal studies, and have open to traffic any that were identified by 2001. Target predicated on the outcome of multi-modal studies.
—By 2010, complete a £250 million programme of localised improvements to strategic routes (including the improved crossings) to reduce the impact on the environment and enhance accessibility. Anticipated spend on local environment and accessibility schemes in 2001-02 is £17.7 million.

SMARTER ROADS

Outcome:

  Increasing the use of new technology to improve the real-time management of traffic on our strategic road network. New systems will provide more reliable journey times, improve safety and control traffic flow.

TargetsProgress
—By 2004, start a rolling programme of trials to test the concept of "Active Traffic Management" (ATM). ATM to be installed on M42, junctions 3A-7. Switch on of the scheme is programmed for July 2004.
—By 2004, install 200 more motorway CCTV monitoring cameras to give faster response to accidents, breakdowns and incidents, so reducing disruption and accidents. 101 CCTV cameras are being installed during 2001-02. Agency fully expects to meet this target in conjunction with other improvements such as ATM.
—By 2004, automatic hold up warning systems to be installed on 30 per cent of motorways, reducing accidents at the backs of queues. 249 km (30 per cent of that needed to meet this target) to be installed during 2001-02. Warning systems also to be an integral part of ATM.





 
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