An expert panel brought together by Highways England to encourage excellence in road design, met for the first time and pledged to change thinking and place more emphasis on the importance of good design within the road environment.
With Highways England responsible for delivering £11bn worth of Government investment in England’s major roads and motorways over the next five years, it is important to maximize opportunities to ensure the road network is in harmony with its surroundings.
The panel which comprises experts from the fields of architecture, environment, heritage, design and engineering will be a key forum to encourage design excellence.
Highways England Chief Highways Engineer Mike Wilson said:
We’re charged with delivering less congested roads to enable swift, safe and comfortable journeys and it is important to us that our road network fits within its environment.
We’ve already got some great road design and this an opportunity for us to take it a step further – to get input from other experts, which can only be good for Highways England as we set off on the road to becoming an exemplar of good design.
Highways England will seek advice from the panel on:
embedding a design led approach as an important part of the development of all road improvement schemes
road schemes, network management and operations
the development of relevant design standards and advice
at any other time where required by the Secretary of State
The Design Panel is built into the Highways England licence and is an essential part of a broader vision for the future of the road network. The intention is to harnesses the engineering and design talent this country has to further develop a network that whilst durable and effective, is something people can enjoy and be proud of. A key part of this is to consider and demand the highest design outcomes for all the elements of the network so that together they create the best user experience.
The full panel comprises members from the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, the National Trust, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Royal Institute of British Architects, Campaign for Better Transport, Landscape Institute, Prince’s Foundation, Institution of Civil Engineers, Natural England, Design Council, Institution of Structural Engineers and Historic England.
Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.