National Highways (formerly Highways England) is the publicly funded, government owned company that plans, designs, builds, operates and maintains more than 4,300 miles of motorway and major A-roads that form England’s strategic road network (SRN). They provide information and assistance for four million road users who use it every day and aim to provide them with safe and reliable journeys by managing one of the most advanced road networks in the world.

National Highway”s organisational structure is made up of service divisions within directorates. The vast majority of work is procured for the Operations and Major Projects & Capital Portfolio Directorates. Services relating to design, commercial, technology and innovation are also procured for other parts of National Highways including the Safety, Engineering and Standards (SES) directorate and the Digital Services Directorate.

National Highways is funded by the Department of Transport through controlled five-year Road Investment Periods.  Government funding for RIS2, which covers Road Period 2 (RP2) 2020 – 2025, is set at £24.7bn. Their commitments and deliverables are set out by the government in a Road Investment Strategy (RIS) that runs in parallel.

The majority of this work will be outsourced for collaborative delivery by National Highway’s community of supply chain partners. The nature of the work undertaken by National Highway’s supply chain is extremely diverse. It ranges from investment planning and economic analysis, through the full lifecycle of solution design and construction, into operating and maintaining the network and beyond into post-project evaluation and customer service management.  The supply chain also complements and enhances almost 6,000 professionals National Highways employs by providing ancillary services such as organisational change, programme and commercial management, academic research and development and dispute resolution and insurance advice.

Click here to download National Highway‘s Board & Executive structure chart.

National Highways is monitored by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). Its role is to monitor National Highway’s performance and advise the Secretary of State for Transport on its compliance against the targets defined in the RIS.

Transport Focus (previously Passenger Focus) is the watchdog for National Highways; promoting and protecting the interests of users of the Strategic Road Network.

National Highways has three key imperatives that it is focused on as it delivers the Road Investment Strategy:

Safety – Download: Home Safe and Well Strategy

Customer Service – Download: Customer service strategy

Delivering the Road Investment Strategy –  Download: RIS 2020-2025

Key documents:

The Highways England Delivery Plan 2020-2025.

In June 2023 National Highways published Connecting The Country: Our Long Term Strategic Plan to 2050  which will inform our investment planning for each future Road Period towards 2050.

In May 2023, National Highways launched the Environmental Sustainability Strategy to deliver a more sustainable road network to protect and enhance the environment over the next three decades, focussing on three key areas: the protection and enhancement of nature; carbon reduction; and support for community health and wellbeing.

In October 2022, they published their Social Value Plan 2022-2024, showcasing how they deliver and measure social value – and the ways it will maximise benefits to communities, people, and customers.

National Highways supports and is working with its supply chain as set out in the UK Government’s Economic Crime Plan 2023 to 2023.

Part 3 – Benefits of Working with National Highways

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