ORR to undertake an investigation of National Highways’ performance

The Office of Rail and Road has opened an investigation into the performance of National Highways.

The ORR says that, since it was created, National Highways has generally achieved its aims and delivered well for road users, and during this time the two bodies have worked together to successfully resolve individual issues before they have significantly impacted road users.

But it says its annual assessment of National Highways’ performance, published in July 2023, identified a number of potential risks, such as delivery of its capital portfolio and asset management strategy. Since then, ORR says it has observed that those risks have materialised, and performance has dipped across several areas.

ORR’s investigation will look at the root causes of National Highways’ current dip in performance, and whether the company has the right processes in place to deliver its agreed commitments by the end of the road period in March 2025. The investigation will look at whether the company has identified, and is taking, every action that could reasonably be expected of it to achieve the level of performance set by government in the road investment strategy, and at what can reasonably be achieved in the remaining months of the road period.

ORR expects that lessons from this work will “help to inform the appropriateness of performance commitments for National Highways in the third road period and support in the setting of the company’s targets to be challenging and deliverable”.

Feras Alshaker, Director of Planning and Performance at ORR, said: “National Highways has generally delivered well for road users, but in recent months we have become concerned that its performance has dipped in a number of areas and issues are recurring.

“We are opening an investigation now to help ORR and National Highways achieve a common understanding of what is causing the current dip in performance, and whether it is still reasonable for us to expect the levels of performance set out in the second Road Investment Strategy. We can then put in place any appropriate measures before the end of this road period and set the company up for success in the next, delivering for road users and taxpayers.”

(Picture – ORR)


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