Infrastructure Act's Royal Assent welcomed

February 18 2015  

Infrastructure Act's Royal Assent welcomed

Transportation industry commentators have welcomed the Infrastructure Act’s passing into law after the legislation received Royal Assent last week.

The Act allows the creation of Highways England – the new Government owned company due to replace the Highways Agency from 1 April. Highways England will have access to long term stable funding as it delivers the Government’s £15Bn Road Investment Strategy over the next five years.

The new company will be more accountable to Parliament and to road users. A road monitor run by the Office of Rail Regulation will examine the performance of the strategic network, while user champion Passenger Focus is extending its remit to represent users of the network.

Civil Engineering Contractors' Association chief executive Alasdair Reisner said: “The granting of Royal Assent marks the culmination of a long push by industry to improve the way we invest in our motorways.

“This long term certainty will allow investment in skills, equipment and innovation, and should in turn reduce the cost of delivery and make savings for the taxpayer.”

The Act also promises to end excessive delays with projects which already have been granted planning permission and includes a cycling and walking investment strategy.

Cycling charity Sustrans’ policy director Jason Torrance said: “This is an historic opportunity to guarantee the long term funding that will extend travel choice, help ease congestion and improve our health and our environment.”

CIHT Chief Executive Sue Percy said: “As an industry supporting the employment of over 200,000 people with annual activity worth up to £25Bn, we believe that Parliament’s actions on roads will deliver a better deal for customers of motorways and trunk roads, while securing improved value for taxpayers.

"We look forward to working closely with Highways England and establishing a constructive relationship over the next few years.”

(Photo: Highways Agency)

Return to news listing