HE “going in the right direction” – CEO

Highways England’s chief executive Jim O’Sullivan is welcoming a National Audit Office report into his organisation, and insists it is going in the right direction.

Speaking at Traffex he said he is confident he will deliver the road investment strategy and that he is setting out “to do what it says on the tin”.

A recent report from the National Audit Office identified a funding shortfall of £800m for Highways England’s capital enhancement programme, a report which O’Sullivan described as “objective, balanced and well-written.”
“The NAO report starts with – I think the number is – £1.6bn of upward pressure and it acknowledges that we’ve brought it to about £800m in the last 24 months. So we’re going in the right direction.”
O’Sullivan also praised the Traffex event itself saying, “I’m very pleased to see the amount of equipment on display, including at our own stand.
“A number of companies have brought the people that actually operate the equipment so they can talk about it with a level of expertise that we don’t normally get to see. There’s a huge amount of innovation on display and so we are finally embracing the information age and the technology age. So in the round I think it’s all very good.”

As for whether attending Traffex will prove a useful exercise for Highways England, he said: “I think it will, and I think it does so in a number of ways. The first is that it marks our presence in the industry, and the fact that we are here with predominantly members of our supply chain is huge.

“I think the opportunity to interact on our stand and talk to people – and indeed for our people to see other things that are going on in the industry that might not make their way to them through the process. I think that’s important.”

He added,”I also think it’s demonstrating how hard we are working to become a listening organisation, and the opportunity for people to come to the stand, engage, and be introduced to the appropriate experts within Highways England on their subject matter.”

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