The Freight Transport Association (FTA) agrees that Highways England has made a positive start in its first year but the association would like to see a better flow of information on forthcoming roadworks so that operators can plan ahead.
FTA’s comments followed publication of the Office of Rail and Road’s (ORR) first annual assessment of Highways England’s performance and delivery of its investment plan, covering the period April 2015-March 2016.
FTA has supported the long-term certainty of £11.4 billion of funding for roads investment during the first road period, of which £1.8 billion related to 2015-16, but equally freight operators need the certainty of reliable information on the works that go to improving the road network.
Unreliable journeys can cost a truck operator £1 per minute for each vehicle standing idle in congestion and that cost has to be borne by the freight industry. More certainty of plans going forward will provide the industry with important information and allow companies to make informed decisions on how they operate their fleets as these investments in the network are made.
Malcolm Bingham, FTA’s Head of Road Network Management Policy, said: “It is good to see that Highways England has made a positive start within its first year. We can see that satisfaction in the performance of the network will improve if motorists and businesses are better informed as to how the road system will operate.”