Excellence in road design encouraged by Highways England

June 17 2015  

Excellence in road design encouraged by Highways England
More pleasant looking motorways, service areas and trunk routes through towns could result from a new initiative by Highways England to encourage excellence in road design.
 
An expert panel drawn from 12 groups including CIHT has met for the first time to ensure that opportunities are not missed to create a road network more in harmony with its surroundings. This comes as a record £11Bn is to be spent on England’s strategic roads over the next five years.
 
Public realm consultant Colin Davis, who is representing CIHT on the panel, said: “A country defines itself though its institutions and achievements which include the design and management of its strategic road network. The formation of the design panel is an excellent opportunity for the industry to ensure that the network is delivered with engineering competence, visual order and elegance.
 
“This represents a big opportunity to debate how motorways and trunk roads in England can become an exemplar for other countries to follow,” he added.
 
Highways England chief highways engineer Mike Wilson said: “It is important that our road network fits within its environment. We have already got some great road designs and this is an opportunity for us to take it a step further and get input from other experts.”
 
The panel will seek to provide advice on embedding a design-led approach into all road improvement schemes, as Highways England looks to achieve the “highest design outcomes” to “create the best user experience”. Specific outputs from the group are still being decided.
 
The other groups represented on the expert panel are 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.
 
♦ Colin Davis is a member of CIHT’s Urban Design Panel and is the author of ‘Street Design for All’ produced in 2014 by CIHT, the Department for Transport and Civic Voice. It is available as a free download at PublicRealm.info
 
(Photo: Mark Hillary and licensed for reuse under this Creative Common Licence)

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