How a new way forward for Highways England is good news for motorists

The new operational model will see Highways England take direct ownership of road maintenance of mot

The new operational model will see Highways England take direct ownership of road maintenance of motorways and major A roads across East Anglia Picture: HIGHWAYS ENGLAND - Credit: HIGHWAYS ENGLAND

Highways England says motorists on the region’s major roads will be the winners as it introduces a new way of working.

The body is taking over management of routine road maintenance such as road resurfacing, laying of studs and road markings, along with delivery of major renewal and improvement schemes.

And, for the first time, management of key assets and infrastructure is also to be brought in-house.

Previously this was managed by construction, services and property group Kier, whose contract expired on September 30.

Bosses say the new way of working will give them more flexibility and a better understanding of conditions on the region's roads.

Highways England is the government-owned company responsible for modernising, maintaining and operating England's motorways and major A roads.

The east region includes the strategic routes in the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

Martin Fellows, Highways England regional operations director for the east, said: "By bringing more expertise in-house we will build upon the strong existing capabilities of both our staff and our supply chain and creates more flexible and efficient ways of working, that will underpin continual improvements to put safety, our customers and effective delivery at the heart of everything we do."

The new system is called Asset Delivery and was launched in 2016.

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There are three elements - maintenance and response, design services, and the construction works framework.

Maintenance and response will be delivered by Ringway, and includes routine highway maintenance services such as repairs to defects, emergency incident response and severe weather services.

Design services begins in January 2020 and will be delivered by Atkins. This involves preparing technical designs and carrying out work on capital projects, from the drawing board to the finished product.

The construction works framework starts in April 2020 and covers renewal works to roads and bridges and improvement schemes on the network.

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