New headquarters for Highways England

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has officially opened the new headquarters of Highways England – the government-owned company that will take over the running of England’s motorways and A-roads from 1 April 2015.

The new company, which replaces the Highways Agency, will be responsible for delivering more than £15 billion of investment by 2021.

Highways England will have longer-term funding to be able to plan ahead and invest in skills and equipment to speed up essential work. The move is part of a radical package of road reform that is expected to save the taxpayer at least £2.6 billion over the next 10 years.

Mr McLoughlin said: “Infrastructure is a vital part of this government’s long term economic plan to secure a better future for this country; that is why we are investing £15 billion in the biggest upgrade to England’s strategic roads in a generation.

“I’m pleased to be able to open the headquarters that will co-ordinate this massive investment. The creation of Highways England will mean better value for money, improved customer satisfaction, more road capacity, improved safety and a better quality of service for millions of people who use the strategic road network every day.”

Around 330 people have moved from former premises in Dorking, which would require significant refurbishment, to the new headquarters in Guildford, which has better links to the strategic road network. The Dorking building will now be sold.

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What about the other roads that are in a poor condition? I notice that our County, Staffordshire, does not appear on the list of 28 Councils, yet there are some very urgent road improvements needed in it, in particular the A38 dual carriageway from Lichfield to Burton-on-Trent which is dangerous in having many access roads with short acceleration lanes, and it is subject to flooding being in the Trent flood plain. When this busy highway is closed, there are no diversion routes except a few narrow country lanes.