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Highways England

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Title: Highways England  
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Subject: Design Manual for Roads and Bridges, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, A329(M) motorway, M60 motorway, Department for Transport
Collection: 1994 Establishments in England, Companies Established in 2015, Department for Transport, Executive Agencies of the United Kingdom Government, Government Agencies Established in 1994, Government-Owned Companies of the United Kingdom, Interested Parties in Planning in England, Organisations Based in Birmingham, West Midlands, Organisations Based in England, Organisations Based in the West Midlands (County), Organizations Established in 1994, Road Authorities, Road Transport in England, Transport in Birmingham, West Midlands
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Highways England

Highways England Company Limited
Type Government owned company
Headquarters Bridge House,
1 Walnut Tree Court,
Owner UK Government
Key people
Jim O'Sullivan (Chief Executive)
3,500 (2015)[1]
Website /

Highways England (formerly the Highways Agency) is a government-owned company with responsibility for managing the core road network in England. It operates information services, liaises with other government agencies and provides staff to deal with incidents on the roads it manages. Founded as a government agency in 1994, it was converted into a government-owned company on 1 April 2015.


  • History 1
  • The strategic road network 2
    • Operational areas 2.1
  • Organisation 3
    • National Traffic Information Service (NTIS) 3.1
    • Area teams 3.2
    • Staff 3.3
  • Traffic England 4
  • Survive Group 5
  • Historical Railways Estate 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9
    • Video clips 9.1


The organisation was created as an executive agency on 30 March 1994.[2] The Chief Executive, Jim O'Sullivan assumed his post on 1 July 2015, replacing Graham Dalton in that role.[3]

Following the announcement made on 27 June 2013 by Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, it became a publicly owned company on 1 April 2015.[4]

The strategic road network

The M4 Motorway is managed by Highways England.

Operational areas

Highways England's operations are split into six regions[5] that are roughly based on the regions of England. These regions are subdivided into 13 operational areas.[6] These areas are each managed and maintained by an area team and a contractor, known respectively as the Managing Agent (MA) and the Managing Agent Contractor (MAC). In addition, there are a number of sections of road that are managed under DBFO contracts separately from the area teams.[6]

HE Region Operational area Counties covered (whole & partial) Roads managed
South West Area 1[7] Cornwall, Devon A30, A35, A38
Area 2[8] Bristol, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire M4, M5, A36, A40, A303, A4
London & South East Area 3[9] Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Surrey, Oxfordshire M27, M271, M275, M3, M4, M40, A3, A3(M), A27, A31, A34, A303, A404, A404(M), A308(M)
Area 4[10] Kent, Surrey, East Sussex, West Sussex M2, M20, M23, A2, A20, A21, A23, A26, A27, A259, A2070
Area 5 (DBFO)[11] M25 Area: Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey M25, M1, M4, M10, M11, M20, M26, A1, A3, A13, A30, A282, A1089
East Area 6[12] Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk M11, A11, A12, A14, A47, A120
Area 8[13] Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Northamptonshire M1, M11, M40, M45, A1, A5, A11, A14, A43, A45, A421, A428
Midlands Area 7[14] Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire M1, M6, M45, A1, A5, A14, A38, A42, A43, A45, A46, A50, A52, A421
Area 9[15] Gloucestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Worcester, Herefordshire M5, M6, M40, M42, M50, M54, A5, A40, A46, A49, A435, A449, A456, A458, A465, A6, A483,
North West Area 10[16] Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire M6, M53, M56, M57, M58, M60, M61, M62, M66, M67, M602, A41, A55, A56, A483, A550, A556, A570, A663, A5036
Area 13[17] Cumbria, Lancashire M6, M55, A65, A66, A69, A74(M), A585, A590, A595
North East Area 12[18] Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Greater Manchester M1, M18, M62, M180, M181, M606, M621, A1, A19, A57, A61, A63, A64, A160, A168, A180, A616, A628, A1033
Area 14[19] Durham, Northumberland, North Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear A1, A19, A66, A69, A268, A174, A696, A1033


National Traffic Information Service (NTIS)

Network Information Services (NIS), a Mouchel and Thales joint venture, operates the National Traffic Information Service on behalf of Highways England. NTIS is the information hub of England' strategic road network.[20]

The £57 million service is based at Quinton, Birmingham and is responsible for providing accurate, historical, real-time and predictive traffic and incident information to businesses, the travelling public and Highways England's operations.[20] It collects real-time traffic information from over 10,000 fixed sites on the motorway and all-purpose trunk road network from MIDAS and Traffic Monitoring Unit (TMU) electronic loops in the road surface and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras at the roadside. Additionally it uses anonymous floating vehicle traffic data (FVD) from vehicles to supplement the fixed traffic monitoring sites. NTIS also has access to nearly 2,000 CCTV cameras,[21] 300 weather stations, 4,600 roadside electronic signs, 16,000 roadside electronic matrix signals and incident data from over 250 operational partners including the police and local authorities.[22]

It then processes this data to create useful intelligence for operational decision making and dissemination of current and predictive information to the public using the 4,600 roadside BBC and local newspaper websites for their own traffic information. Services such as Google maps and satnav operators also make use of Highways England's data for their traffic information.

Area teams

The motorway network is divided into "Areas". They are contracts that are awarded by the Department for Transport. The Area Teams work alongside the Highways England Traffic Officer Service – providing incident support, emergency traffic management and infrastructure maintenance. They are responsible for the management and operation of the roads in their area.[27] In 2009, fleet tracking has been deployed to assist area teams to manage their specialist winter maintenance vehicles during the Cold Snap.[28]


Highways England employs uniformed traffic officers; on-road and control room, as well as specialist staff for work in engineering, surveying, accountancy, and administration. There is a graduate entry scheme, with general entry and specialist engineering entry options.[29] For the Traffic Officer Service each team is supervised by a team manager, one of between six and eight such managers generally working together, to ensure 24-hour management cover.

Traffic England

Traffic England is a website[30] that gives information about the latest traffic conditions as well as details of any roadworks or events that may cause congestion.[31] By selecting current motorway information users can see the average speed between individual motorway junctions, what is being displayed on all the variable-message signs, and images from traffic cameras.[31] The website is run by Highways England's National Traffic Information Service.

Survive Group

The Survive Group is a partnership between Highways England, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), the breakdown/recovery industry and other road service providers. The Survive Group has been established to improve the safety of those who work on the road network and the travelling public and is also dedicated to the promotion of driving safety. The name Survive comes from Safe Use of Roadside Verges in Vehicular Emergencies.

The Survive Group website holds information on the Survive Group membership details and activities being undertaken by the working groups. It also supplies advice on how to drive safely in a wide range of driving conditions, advice on planning journeys. Survive also provides publications and new guidance produced by the Survive members plus news on new initiatives and forthcoming road safety events.[32]

Historical Railways Estate

In 2013, Highways England took over responsibility for the Historical Railways Estate from BRB (Residuary) Limited.[33]

See also


  1. ^ Plimmer, Gill (8 March 2015). "Highway Agency braced for shake-up". Financial Times. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  2. ^ "Hansard, Vol 240 Col 929". 1994-03-30. Retrieved 2008-06-05. My target was to complete the review in time for it to provide the basis for the new Highways Agency, which is being launched today. 
  3. ^ "Appointment of Highways Agency Chief Executive" (Press release).  
  4. ^ "investing in Britains future". 
  5. ^ "HIghways Agency Network management map". Highways Agency. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  6. ^ a b "Highways Agency Network management maps". Highways Agency. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  7. ^ "Area 1 - South West England". Highways Agency. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  8. ^ "Area 2 Bristol/Gloucestershire/M5". Highways Agency. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  9. ^ "Area 3 Berks/Bucks/Hants". Highways Agency. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  10. ^ "Area 4 Kent/Sussex/M2 etc". Highways Agency. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  11. ^ "Area 5 M25 ring around London". Highways Agency. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  12. ^ "Area 6 Cambs/M11 corridor". Highways Agency. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  13. ^ "Area 8 Northants/ M1 corridor etc". Highways Agency. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  14. ^ "Area 7 Derbyshire/Leicestershire/Notts". Highways Agency. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  15. ^ "Area 9 Staffordshire / Warwickshire/ West Midlands". Highways Agency. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  16. ^ "Area 10 Cheshire/Merseyside/Manchester". Highways Agency. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  17. ^ "Area 13 Cumbria/Lancs". Highways Agency. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  18. ^ "Area 12 Lincolnshire/Yorkshire". Highways Agency. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  19. ^ "Area 14 Durham/North Yorkshire/Tyne and Wear". Highways Agency. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  20. ^ a b Highways Agency – National Traffic Information Service
  21. ^ a b "Overview". National Traffic Information Service. Highways Agency. Retrieved 2008-01-01. 
  22. ^ Highways Agency – National Traffic Information Service
  23. ^ "Festive test for transport network". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 2007-12-21. Retrieved 2008-01-01. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Better Information" (PDF). Highways Agency. May 2004. Retrieved 2008-01-01. 
  26. ^ "Services to be Delivered". The Highways Agency's Traffic Control Centre Project. Highways Agency. Retrieved 2008-01-01. 
  27. ^ Highways Agency – How We Manage Our Roads
  28. ^ Vehicle tracking assists road safety during cold snap
  29. ^ Career information and graduate scheme details here.
  30. ^ "Traffic England". Highways Agency. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  31. ^ a b "Traffic England: Real-time traffic information". Highways Agency. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  32. ^
  33. ^

External links

  • Official website
  • [2] – This is the Highways Agency page on Traffic Officers.
  • Traffic Radio
  • Traffic England – live traffic information from the HA including delays, roadworks, roadside message signs

Video clips

  • Highways Agency YouTube channel
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