6 ISSUES FOR JUST £6 Subscribe to Business & Professional Life today CLICK HERE

Business West welcomes proposed new-look Highways Agency

PUBLISHED: 14:50 18 July 2013 | UPDATED: 14:50 18 July 2013

In a Government report published on 17 July, Action for roads: a network for the 21st century, Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, said: “We will reform the Highways Agency, giving it the flexibility and vision it needs to be the world’s leading highways operator. More certainty, clearer instructions and less political interference will mean greater efficiency and a better service to motorists and the environment.”

According to the report, from 2015 onwards the Highways Agency will have long-term funding certainty on its capital programme and resource maintenance, initially to 2021. It will also introduce a Roads Investment Strategy (RIS), setting out plans for construction and maintenance to 2021 and beyond, as well as performance criteria. It will also cover expectations for the operation and management of the network.

In June 2013, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury announced an investment of £15.1 billion in the country’s strategic roads by 2021 to counter the effects of past underinvestment, adding a further 221 lane miles of extra capacity to the busiest motorways.

Commenting on the Transport Secretary’s announcement of reforms, Phil Smith, Managing Director of Business West, said: “Business growth requires a road network that’s well maintained, congestion free and upgraded where necessary. For too long, the Highways Agency has been unable to deliver on these requirements.

“So we welcome the announcement that the Highways Agency is to become a public corporation, managed in a more business-like fashion, and that it will have the same sort of five-year funding certainty that has helped to improve the rail network in recent years.

“Business has had enough of ‘stop-start Britain’. We’ll be watching closely to ensure that these changes enable companies and their employees to move full speed ahead on a better national road network. We will also urge ministers to bring forward some of the new road maintenance spending they’ve promised after 2015, as urgent action to maintain our roads is required now.

“And, we will be looking with interest to see how much of this funding comes to the West Country and what difference it will make to improve connections between our major urban areas of Bristol, Bath, Swindon, Gloucester and Cheltenham.”

Four major transport schemes get go-ahead

Gloucestershire Local Transport Board has announced its decision to fund four multi million pound schemes in the country: A40 bus lane at Benhall, Cheltenham, A40 Over roundabout and Highnam Lodge, A40 bus corridor to the west of Cheltenham and Cheltenham Spa station.

In total 14 schemes were put forward by nine scheme promoters. The four selected schemes will now be put forward to potentially secure between £10 million and £20 million of transport improvements for Gloucestershire. The four schemes could get the go ahead from 2015.

Cllr Vernon Smith, Chair of the Gloucestershire Local Transport Board, said, “The schemes put forward would make a real difference to Gloucestershire, reducing journey times and improving local transport, helping to support and protect local jobs.”


More from Cotswold Life


Swan Lake. We know the music, we know the iconic imagery of the beautiful ballerina dressed as a swan, but I’m guessing that without reading the libretto in the program, most people don’t know the story. Which is why the audience relies on the dancers to tell us.

Read more

Tom and Louise are being joined by other new academic appointments that have been made as part of the RAU’s £2.5 million initiative to help meet the future needs of the land management and agri-food sectors

Read more

“To win this prestigious award is a real compliment to the wider team in Renishaw’s manufacturing services operation, particularly when we consider the achievements of the other excellent shortlisted companies.”

Read more
Yesterday, 17:16

Stepping up to receive the world’s first MBA Leading Business degrees at the ceremony were Sarah Bryars, Chief Executive of Target; Luke Freeman, Joint Chief Executive of MF Freeman; and Linsey Temple, Chief Executive of Gloucestershire Engineering Training

Read more
Yesterday, 17:04

“I am thrilled to see InfoSec People win this fantastic award which is a testament to the brilliant team we have built in the past few years.”

Read more
Yesterday, 16:36

After a stress-free shopping experience browsing designer brands this Christmas? Look no further than the luxury offerings of Mailbox in Birmingham

Read more
Yesterday, 10:24

This year sees the 40th anniversary of the publication of Raymond Briggs’ original picture book The Snowman. With three performances of the animated film – with live orchestra – coming to Gloucester Cathedral next month, we thought we’d catch up with Rachel Whibley, managing director of Carrot Productions (and occasional snowman), to find out more...

Read more
Mon, 14:10

It’s the season of terrible puns, magic lamps, and generous genies: Aladdin, the all-new panto at the Everyman, has been written by none other than legendary Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan, and stars everyone’s favourite clown, Tweedy. The Barnard family from Nailsworth - mum, dad, Harriet (12) and Lewis (6) - made a Wishee (Washee) for tickets; grabbed their car (Window Twan) keys; and dashed off to see A Ladd In Cheltenham

Read more
Mon, 13:45

Crispy, frosty days and perhaps even a dusting of snow, winter is a magical time in the Cotswolds. If you’re thinking of tying the knot during this beautiful season in the region, here are six winter wedding ideas to help you start planning your special day

Read more

Christmas in the Wilson household is a heartwarming, traditional family affair

Read more
Mon, 13:15

Tracy Spiers takes an impressive, if hypothetical, budget on a shopping spree in Cheltenham’s independent stores

Read more
Mon, 13:09

Veganism is the latest food trend to hit the Cotswolds but it’s something we can all enjoy a bite of

Read more
Mon, 12:23

Get out and enjoy seasonal celebrations with a Cotswold twist

Read more
Mon, 12:21

The weekend is fast approaching and for those still deciding how to spend their Friday through to Sunday, we pick 5 of the best ways to spend your weekend in the Cotswolds

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search