The road to ruin or a way paved with gold?
The strategic road network – the country’s motorways and major A roads – is run by the Highways Agency. It carries around a third of all road traffic, and two thirds of all heavy freight traffic.
By the Agency’s own estimation this vital utility is worth £87 billion.
But are there ways it could be run differently? Is there a way funding for the Highways Agency be guaranteed in a similar way to the system operating on the railways? Is there a case for establishing an independent roads regulator, and perhaps a consumer watchdog for road users? Could some of the huge value in the road network be realised to fund more investment?
John Smith’s paper on roads administration tries to answer the questions.