The Highways Sector Council (HSC) has developed a proposal to transform the industry, support delivery of the government’s priorities and strengthen the UK economy as the country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The proposal sets out four areas for development and focuses on the highways sector which has been agreed with the Department for Transport (DfT) and Highways England (HE). These include:
• Environment: Supporting the transition to Net Zero, by developing a sector wide plan, assessing asset classes, launching trials of zero carbon products/approaches, and testing innovative techniques for carbon lock up
• Models: Identifying ways in which the sector can support the Government’s Project Speed, delivering more quickly and more productively; developing a business case which defines benefits to UK plc of having a five and ten year local government funding programme.
• Innovation: Supporting highways’ transition to digital particularly across the local and strategic network boundary
• Skills: Undertaking a Highways Sector Skills Assessment to better inform future work in this area
The HSC will now work with DfT and HE to develop key deliverables for the highways sector that demonstrate real value to the government, road users and the wider economy.
A Department for Transport spokesperson said:
“The Highways Sector Council has made good progress in developing a set of proposals which are well aligned to key national and Departmental objectives.
“We are keen to see how HSC progresses in developing these proposals for the benefit of the highways sector throughout the UK.”
Elliot Shaw, Highways England's Executive Director of Strategy and Planning, said: “We’re pleased to support the ambition set out by the Highways Sector Council. We look forward to continuing to work on these proposals with HSC in the coming weeks to develop the proposal further."
Anna Delvecchio, Founding Member of the HSC and Mott MacDonald’s Transportation Development Director said: “We have been developing a series of proposals to establish better cross industry collaboration with the Government to transform the sector. Developing the partnership has been a great example of public and private sector collaboration during the pandemic.”
Anna added: “None of this would have been possible without the expertise and determination of Steve Berry who sadly passed away last month. Through his and the industry’s collective efforts, we are now much better placed to partner with the Government and support the country’s economic recovery.”
Leon Daniels, Chair of the HSC said: “It has been a privilege to Chair the Council during its formative period and we’ve made great progress towards establishing a partnership between Government agencies and the private sector. This will be critical to delivering innovation, excellence and value for money.”
Established in 2019, the HSC seeks to transform delivery in the sector, using a unified industry voice and approach to work more collaboratively with central and local government to transform and improve how the sector works across a number of key areas: people and skills, innovation, safety, environment, value, investment and delivery models. It has responded swiftly to the challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak, particularly in the local highways sector, and has been working closely with DfT and HE, providing guidance on impacts with a focus on working towards building a stronger programme for recovery to support the sector and the wider economy.