The Government has confirmed that Highways England will take over running the country’s motorways and major trunk roads from the Highways Agency on 1 April.
Highways England, a new “arms-length government company”, is part of a “radical package of road reform that is expected to save the taxpayer at least £2.6bn over the next 10 years”.
The Government says the establishment of Highways England will “bring an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability to the operation of England’s motorways and A-roads”.
John Hayes, transport minister, said: “These reforms will mean the biggest, boldest and most far-reaching roads upgrade for decades.
“Government will set the strategy, gauge its implementation and direct necessary changes. Highways England will be answerable to Parliament, fully accountable for its work and will report to ministers.”
The Government’s Autumn Statement in December 2014 announced the ‘road investment strategy’, which set out how Highways England will spend £15.2bn on 84 new national road projects.
Legislation underpinning the new Highways England company was passed in the Infrastructure Act, which was given Royal Assent on 12 February.
The Act also sets out measures to look after the interests of network users, which include the creation of a new road user watchdog and a highways monitor, based within Passenger Focus and the Office of Rail Regulation respectively.