EA investigates how the government's £15bn Road Investment Strategy 1 (RIS1) is translating into highways work and how environmental management within the sector is evolving. Highways England reveals its progress to date in meeting its environmental ambitions and how its dedicated environment fund is being spent.
In this special Insight Report, EA also interviews a panel of senior figures from consultancies involved in supporting the work to understand how various drivers - including urban regeneration, noise targets, air quality limits, the government's broader remit to enhance productivity, community engagement and digital technologies - are shaping projects in the highways sector.
The industry has reached an important juncture, committed to delivering the closing years of the first quinquennial road investment period (RIS1) whilst simultaneously looking ahead to the approach of RIS2 from 2020. The recent publication of the draft second road investment strategy has revealed an incoming 70% funding boost to £25.3bn which suggests a continued healthy pipeline for the supply chain, whilst at the same time procurement is moving towards a more collaborative model.
Furthermore, as the transport sector hovers on the brink of an electric vehicle (EV) revolution and asset resiliency is inevitably pushed up the agenda by the growing occurrence of extreme weather events, demand in the mid-to-long term seems doubly assured.
With thanks to our contributors - including senior representatives from Highways England, Jacobs, Mott MacDonald and WYG - for sharing their perspectives on the huge challenges and complexities of this growing area.
In this report we discover:
- Progress made by Highways England in meeting environmental goals for the strategic road network - and how consultants are supporting its in-house environmental team and partnering its contractors
- The growing importance of stakeholder engagement and a coordinated service offering when planning a highways project
- The most common environmental hurdles faced by road development and improvement projects with case study examples
- How the demand for new housing and urban regeneration is driving a more holistic approach to supporting infrastructure
- How the growing use of disruptive technology such as VR visualisation is generating better outcomes
- The challenges and opportunities presented by climate change and the move toward a low carbon transport network
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