CIHT on Highways England Strategic Design Panel

October 2 2017  

CIHT on Highways England Strategic Design Panel
The first report of a panel set up to put good design at the heart of England’s road improvement projects is published today.

Among the recommendations of the multi-partner panel is the need for a Good Design Guide and design being central to a review of the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges which is used across the world. (See the published report).

The panel was set up to support the development of a culture where good design is at the heart of everything within Highways England and the wider road sector. This coincides with Highways England delivering the biggest programme of Government investment in a generation. The panel’s focus is on strategic input rather than scheme specific details, targeting where its expertise, insight and guidance will have most positive impact and wider benefit such as standards, procurement and evaluation.

Highways England Chief Highway Engineer Mike Wilson said:

As we continue to successfully deliver the first Road Investment Strategy, I share the aspiration that as well as our roads being safe, efficient and affordable, that they are also beautiful. I do not underestimate the challenge of this; it requires a culture shift for Highways England and the wider roads sector. We will now review the recommendations and provide an update in due course.

The Panel has made the following key recommendations:
  • Highways England should publish the design vision and principles recommended by the Panel and should work to develop a Good Design Guide.
  • Highways England should ensure that its design vision and principles are implemented effectively and that the Good Design Guide becomes a practical tool across its projects and wider operations.
  • Highways England should establish a specific objective aimed at ensuring that a design led approach, as set out in the design vision and principles, is at the heart of the review of the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges.
Colin Davis CIHT Design panel representative said:
“Highways England should be congratulated for working closely with the design panel to create this strategic vision which recognises the importance of good design and sets out what it is. CIHT looks forward to continuing to work with Highways England and the panel to ensure that good design is delivered across the strategic highway network, setting an example for others to follow.”

The panel members come from a range of disciplines and represent stakeholders who have a passionate interest in the design of the Strategic Road Network:
  •     Campaign for Better Transport
  •     Design Council/Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE)
  •     Transport Focus
  •     Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation
  •     Institution of Civil Engineers
  •     Landscape Institute
  •     Historic England
  •     The Prince’s Foundation
  •     Institution of Structural Engineers
  •     Royal Institute of British Architects
  •     Campaign to Protect Rural England
  •     Natural England
  •     National Trust

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