Who are Highways England?
Have you ever wondered what those vans are on the side of the motorway? The ones with Highways Agency or Highway England text on them and bright reflective chevrons on the rear. The reason for the bright livery is safety as these vans belong to the former Highways Agency, now known as Highways England, who are responsible for maintaining many of the nation’s fastest road networks. For more information on Chevron Kits, visit https://www.vehiclechevrons.com
Highways England is a part of the government with the job of overseeing, maintaining and making improvements to motorways and large A roads in England. It was previously known as the Highways Agency and became a government company in 2015.
They do not oversee all roads in the country and local roads are managed by the local authority in that area. Roads in the capital are managed by Transport for London and in Scotland and Wales by Transport Scotland and the Welsh Assembly respectively.
Highways England also don’t act as an enforcement agency, so if you see dangerous or criminal activity on a motorway or A road, you need to call the police on 101 if it’s a non-emergency or 999 in life-threatening situations. All legislation and policy regarding driving and the roads is still the responsibility of the government department – the Department for Transport.
What do Highways England do?
Maintaining and managing motorways in England and major trunk roads. The roads that come under their remit total 4,300 miles. Whilst this only equates to 2% of the length of all England’s roads, this 2% carries a whopping 33% of all traffic by mileage and 67% of all heavy goods vehicles.
These major networks are the very backbone of the country’s economy, open 24 hours a day and 365 days a week. The roads and motorways are relied on by countless communities and businesses the length and breadth of England.
Highways England aim to improve our major road networks, making them more dependable, stronger and of course, safer for everyone. Their work is dedicated to keeping traffic moving, keeping delays as infrequent as possible and making roads reliable. They aim to keep roads safe and providing a good service, so that no one should be hurt or injured whether working or travelling.
They also aim to integrate the network into other systems and keep roads accessible, meaning people can be free to choose how they travel, their mode of transport and feel safe travelling on the country’s roads.
These aims help to support economic growth, providing a reliable and modern road network fit for purpose in the 21st century by reducing delays, helping to create jobs, supporting business and opening up new areas for development.
Highways England employ around 5,000 staff around the country including Traffic Officers who wear a uniform and work in control centres with designated patrol areas across the network. They are helped in their work by the National Traffic Information Service, which provides data to the Highways England National Traffic Operations Centres and 7 regional control centres.