Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

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Next steps for road infrastructure in England

preparing for RIS3 | assessing progress of RIS2 | environmental concerns | deferred schemes | regional connectivity | integrating new technologies | supporting increased capacity

Morning, Tuesday, 20th August 2024


The conference will assess next steps for road infrastructure in England.

It will be an opportunity to discuss priorities for managing and investing in England’s Strategic Road Network in preparation for the expected implementation of National Highways’ Road Investment Strategy 3 (RIS3) next year.

The conference will be a timely opportunity for delegates to discuss the new Government’s policy priorities.

It also takes place with:

  • the ORR’s ongoing investigation of National Highways’ performance, which intends to provide clarity on what can reasonably be achieved in the final year of RIS2
  • the NIC’s recently published Infrastructure Progress Review 2024, calling for RIS3 funding to match that of the original funding allocation for RIS2
  • the CCC’s Progress in reducing emissions: 2023 Report to Parliament, recommending a more strategic review to assess whether large scale schemes are consistent with environmental goals

Stakeholders and policymakers will explore how priorities outlined in National Highways’ Our Route Strategies will impact the overall shape of the draft RIS3, due for publication later this year. With initial indications outlining a shift away from construction and new schemes, and towards repairs, maintenance and smaller projects, delegates will assess the potential for further changes to the scope of RIS3 in light of the new Government’s priorities for road users, how proposals will be moved forward, and the effect this might have on delivery.

The agenda includes a focus on lessons learned from RIS2 and implications for the scope and delivery of RIS3, with the Transport Committee’s Strategic road investment inquiry held in last Parliament citing overly ambitious schemes as the cause for uncertainty, delays and under-delivery in the view of the Committee.

It will also be an opportunity to assess how the Welsh Government’s decision to end new, major road-building projects might be learned from in England and potentially guide any future reviews. Sessions in the agenda will address environmental concerns surrounding existing schemes such as the Lower Thames Crossing and Stonehenge scheme that have been deferred from RIS2, with discussion on the timescale and expected user benefits of carrying projects over into RIS3.

Further sessions will explore long-term priorities and challenges for moving England’s road infrastructure forward, the role of road infrastructure in improving regional connectivity, next steps for proposals outlined in the previous Government’s Network North programme, and the impact of potential reforms to NIC and IPA on future road infrastructure development.

We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with: David Buttery, Director, Roads Strategy, DfT; Feras Alshaker, Director, Planning and Performance, ORR; Katherine Beard, Director, Future Road Investment Strategy and Government Relations, National Highways; Hannah Brown, Director, Policy, NIC; and Jonny Mood, Director, Transport Value for Money, NAO.

Overall, areas for discussion include:

  • assessing RIS2: progress so far - learning lessons and applying them to RIS3 - assessing the performance of National Highways - considering change in scope between transition periods
  • preparing for the RIS3: examining priorities outlined in the National Highways Route Strategy - potential for changes in scope to RIS3 with an incoming government - moving proposals forward
  • next steps for deferred schemes: assessing the future of major schemes rolled over from RIS2 into RIS3 - addressing concerns about environmental impact, costs, user benefits and the timeliness of projects
  • environmental protection: assessing impact of major projects - considering the CCC’s recommendations - examining the impact of Welsh policy on road construction and implications within a wider UK context
  • infrastructure: priorities for the Strategic Road Network - next steps for maximising the existing road network and future policy moving forward
  • long-term priorities and challenges: future-proofing road infrastructure - incorporating new technologies into the Strategic Road Network - supporting increased capacity - capitalising on the key role of roads in improving regional connectivity

The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who are due to attend from ORR; Defra; DLUHC; DSIT; DfT; EA; GLD; HMT; and the Welsh Government.

The proceedings of the conference will be circulated more widely, to Parliamentarians, ministerial offices, and government and regulatory officials with an interest in the issues being discussed. All delegates will also receive a video recording of the conference.

Keynote Speakers

Hannah Brown

Director, Policy, National Infrastructure Commission

Jonny Mood

Director, Transport Value for Money, National Audit Office

Keynote Speakers

Feras Alshaker

Director, Planning and Performance, Office of Rail and Road

Hannah Brown

Director, Policy, National Infrastructure Commission

Jonny Mood

Director, Transport Value for Money, National Audit Office

David Buttery

Director, Roads Strategy, Department for Transport

Katherine Beard

Director, Future Road Investment Strategy and Government Relations, National Highways


Louise Collins

Director, Transport Focus

Chris Todd

Director, Transport Action Network

Anna Jordan

Co-Founder and CEO, Alchera Technologies

Malini Bose

Associate Director, Infrastructure and Future Mobility, KPMG

Phil Clifton

Managing Director, Highways, Balfour Beatty

Owen Wilson

Head, Major Roads, Transport for the North

Colette Carroll

Managing Director, Transportation UK&I, AtkinsRéalis

Caroline Tong

Managing Director, Intelligent Infrastructure and Roads; and Head of Discipline, Highways, WSP