ADEPT launches report on the highways systems of the future at House of Commons

30th October, 2017
The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT) have launched their report on delivering digital innovation to the highways systems.

Sponsored by Ringway in partnership with O2 and EY, ‘The route to the highways systems of the future' was launched at an event in the House of Commons on Monday 30th October.

Local Authorities and their partners face big challenges in constructing, operating and maintaining local road networks and highways infrastructure at a time of increasing demand, greater financial pressures and deteriorating assets.

The total highways network in England is 188,000 miles, with 2% of this, just 8,000 miles of Strategic Road Network (SRN) managed by Highways England.

The remainder, which includes the nascent Major Road Network (MRN) is managed by Local Highways Authorities, usually the county council or unitary authority for a particular area.

While both the SRN and MRN will be funded in part through Vehicles Excise Duty, the question of how digital innovation can be implemented across the overwhelming majority of the highways system remains.

The report explores how digital innovation can be used to overcome these challenges and deliver the strong alignment between highways, business growth, housing supply, cleaner air and environment that is needed over the coming decades.

The research reports on the findings of five working groups that considered how adopting innovative technology could be accelerated in the context of increasing demand, greater financial pressures and deteriorating highway assets.

The report provides a framework that can accelerate local digital innovation, consistently and robustly by sharing good practice and demonstrating how innovation can potentially be delivered at scale.

ADEPT President, Simon Neilson said: “This report provides a work-in progress examination of how we can improve performance for the 180bn+ vehicle miles per year that use the majority of often rural highways systems outside the SRN and MRN.

“Digitally enabled highways systems are fundamental not only to the future of highways asset management, but will be a major contributor to the UK’s future success in the global economy. We need Local Highways Authorities to be able to share expertise and best practice to avoid a piecemeal and staggered roll out across the country.  

“ADEPT will be a champion for the proposals outlined in the report, ready to take the lead to advocate radical changes in the construction, management and user experience of our highways.”