The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has published its second Annual Assessment of Highways England’s Performance covering 2016/17. A copy of the report can be downloaded here.
The report finds Highways England is performing well against most performance targets, including meeting its target to keep traffic flowing while delivering its programme of major improvements. It is continuing to focus on improving safety and is delivering a comprehensive health and safety plan. And it is starting to carry out its work more efficiently, making savings of £169m over the last two years.
The Annual Assessment notes that Highways England narrowly missed its targets on road user satisfaction and network condition for 2016-17. Road user satisfaction was 89.1% against a target of 90% – down from 89.3% last year. The percentage of road in good condition was 94.3%, against a target of 95%. ORR will closely monitor the company’s plans to improve performance in these areas over the next year. Continued improvement is also needed to plan when work takes place throughout the year. This is considered in more depth by a review of Highways England’s maintenance and renewals delivery which is available.
Highways England has improved its planning of major improvement schemes – a key recommendation of our last annual assessment, and Update Report in February 2017. The proposed changes aim to reduce disruption to road users and ease delivery constraints. The company wants this to give its suppliers a more evenly spread timetable of work, greater visibility of the work that is planned, and should help to deliver future efficiency targets. These are key themes of ORR’s Highways England Supply Chain Capability Review, a copy of which is available, and updates work published by ORR last year.
ORR has reviewed a sample of Highways England’s major schemes and carried out an in-depth review of how the company manages its assets. This identified areas of good practice, but also opportunities for improvement. A copy of the in-depth review is available.