Highways Agency reform edges closerChanges to how major British roads are managed from April 2015 have moved a step closer following the second reading of the Infrastructure Bill in December.

The bill, which provides the legal framework for the government’s £15 billion ‘Road investment strategy’, includes major reforms to the Highways Agency – which is now set to become a government-owned company.

The Highways Agency will be renamed as Highways England from April 2015, and will be responsible for delivering over 100 new road schemes between now and the end of next parliament.

“It is only right that the new government-owned company has a name that reflects its new role as a road operator that delivers a fast, efficient and better service for road users and the country,” said roads minister, John Hayes.

A strategic road network monitor role will be undertaken by the Office of Rail Regulation, which will publish information on the performance of the new Highways England and will have the power to take action for poor performance.

The bill will also see Passenger Focus renamed Transport Focus, which the government said will provide road users with a “stronger
voice” in how roads are managed and maintained