National Highways has appointed Atkins, Jacobs and PwC to help the English road agency set up its third Road Investment Strategy which runs from 2025-30.
The recommendations will look to improve road safety, capacity, quality and user experience, while supporting National Highways’ delivery of net-zero road maintenance and construction by 2040.
National Highways is the UK government owned company charged with planning, improving, managing, operating and maintaining England's Strategic Road Network – over 7,250km of motorways and major A roads.
The Atkins-Jacobs Joint Venture, working with PwC, will develop business and delivery plans, setting out the case for multi-year investment across England’s strategic road network of motorways and major A-roads.
On completion, the work will inform the UK’s Department for Transport’s evaluation before it makes a final investment decision in late 2024, with the delivery of RIS3 starting in April 2025.
According to government documents, RIS1, from 2015-20, saw €17.6 billion invested in over 100 major schemes including the construction of more than 1300 additional lane miles and improvements to over 200 sections of England’s cycling network. Money also went towards reducing the noise impact of England’s motorways and major roads.
RIS2 - the current period, from 2020-25 - has around saw €31.7 billion set aside for the operation, maintenance, renewal and enhancement of the English major roads network.
“The successful delivery of critical infrastructure requires strategic long-term planning and a focus on outcomes that benefit people, communities and businesses, while balancing the needs of the natural environment,” explained Richard Robinson, chief executive of Atkins UK and Europe.
“This strategic planning will advance opportunities to improve the network’s critical infrastructure and unlock wide-reaching community benefits from this investment,” said Kate Kenny, a vice president of Jacobs. “Drawing on our knowledge of the network, combined with our data and digital capabilities in transportation, we are further supporting National Highways to find ways to better safeguard and enhance the environment, improve road user experience and connect communities.”
Atkins, part of SNC-Lavalin Group, is a global design, engineering and project management consultancy employing over 19,000 people. Jacobs is a UK-based infrastructure engineering and contractor consultancy while PwC is a global financial auditing, risk management and strategic business consultancy.