Highways Agency: Wikis


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Highways Agency
Formation 30 March 1994
Type Public body
Legal status Executive agency
Purpose/focus Transport authority
Parent organization Department for Transport
Budget £4.5 billion
Staff 3,200
Website http://www.highways.gov.uk/

The Highways Agency is an executive agency, part of the Department for Transport in England. It has responsibility for managing the core road network in England. It operates a variety of information services, liaises with other government agencies as well as providing staff to deal with incidents on their roads.



The agency was created on 30 March 1994.[1] The current Chief Executive, Graham Dalton, took up his post on 30 June 2008. Prior to joining the agency he was a director at the Department for Transport, responsible for the delivery of major rail investment projects including the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and Thameslink. He replaced the previous Chief Executive, Archie Robertson.[2]


The Agency is responsible for operating the strategic road network in England which consists of most motorways and significant trunk A roads.[3] It has a length of 6,500 miles (10,461 km), which accounts for 34% of all road travel and 67% of lorry freight travel.[4] Most lower grade roads are the responsibility of local authorities.


Operational areas

The Highways Agency'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 managed and maintained by an Area team and a contractor, known as a Managing Agent (MA) or Managing Agent Contractor (MAC). In addition, there are a number of sections of road that are managed by DBFO contracts separate from the area teams.[7]

HA Region Operational area Counties covered (whole & partial) Roads managed
South West Area 1 [8] Cornwall, Devon A30, A35, A38
Area 2 [9] Bristol, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire M4, M5, A36, A40, A303, A417, A419
London & South East Area 3 [10] Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Surrey, Oxfordshire M3, M4, M40, A3, A27, A31, A34, A303, A404, A419
Area 4 [11] Kent, Surrey, East Sussex, West Sussex M2, M20, M23, A2, A20, A21, A23, A26, A27, A259, A2070
Area 5 [12] M25 Area: Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey M25, M1, M4, M10, M11, M20, M26, M40, A1, A3, A13, A30, A282, A1089
East Area 6 [13] Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk M11, A11, A12, A14, A47, A120
Area 8 [14] Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Northamptonshire M1, M11, M40, M45, A1, A5, A11, A14, A43, A45, A421, A428
Midlands Area 7 [15] Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire M1, M6, M45, A1, A5, A14, A38, A42, A43, A45, A46, A50, A52, A421
Area 9 [16] Gloucester, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Worcester M5, M6, M40, M42, M50, M54, A5, A40, A46, A49, A435, A449, A456, A458, A465, A6, A483, A4123,
North West Area 10 [17] 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 [18] Cumbria, Lancashire M6, M55, A65, A66, A69, A74(M), A585, A590, A595
North East Area 12 [19] Lincolnshire, Yorkshire M1, M18, M62, M180, M181, M606, M621, A1, A19, A57, A63, A64, A160, A168, A180, A616, A628, A629, A650
Area 14 [20] Durham, Northumberland, North Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear A1, A19, A66, A69, A268, A174, A696, A1033


National Traffic Control Centre (NTCC)

The Highways Agency operates the National Traffic Control Centre, which is the information hub of the English strategic road network.[21]

The £160 million centre is based at Quinton near Birmingham and is responsible for providing accurate, real-time information to the driving public.[21] It collects information from MIDAS electronic loops in the road surface, CCTV cameras,[22] and over 250 operational partners including the police and local authorities.[23]

It then disseminates this information to the public using 2,500 roadside variable-message signs[24] and the Traffic England website [25] and the telephone based Highways Agency Information Line (HAIL)[26] as well as distributing information to the media.[22][27] Together with Transport for London it also operates a digital radio station, Traffic Radio, which is available via DAB and the Internet.[28]

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 Agency 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 [29].

Traffic Officer & Regional Control Centres

Click here for more information on the Highways Agency Traffic Officer service.


The Highways Agency 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.[30] 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 the Highways Agency brand for traffic information.[31] Currently there are three public channels delivering information on the Highways Agency's road network: a web site at trafficengland.com, a digital radio station, and a telephone service.[32]

The Traffic England web site gives the latest traffic conditions as well as details of any roadworks or events that may cause congestion.[33] By selecting current motorway information you can see the average speed between individual motorway junctions, what is being displayed on all the variable-message signs, and images from traffic cameras.[34] There is a downloadable traffic ticker so the latest traffic news appears straight on your own desktop.[35]

Survive Group

The Survive Group is a partnership between the Highways Agency, 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.[36]

See also


  1. ^ "Hansard, Vol 240 Col 929". 1994-03-30. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199394/cmhansrd/1994-03-30/Debate-1.html. 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." 
  2. ^ Government News Network (2008-06-12). "Appointment of Highways Agency Chief Executive". Press release. http://www.highways.gov.uk/news/pressrelease.aspx?pressreleaseid=162018. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  3. ^ "The Traffic Control Centre Project". The Highways Agency's Traffic Control Centre Project. Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/knowledge/2034.aspx. Retrieved 2008-01-01. 
  4. ^ "Trunk Road Proposals and Your Home". Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/aboutus/1450.aspx. Retrieved 2007-11-18. 
  5. ^ "Road Projects". Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/basicRPSearch.aspx. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  6. ^ "Maps of the Agency's operational areas". Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/aboutus/143.aspx. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  7. ^ "Types of Road Project". Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/14498.aspx. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  8. ^ "Area 1". Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/18780.aspx. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  9. ^ "Area 2". Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/14653.aspx. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  10. ^ "Area 3". Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/22710.aspx. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  11. ^ "Area 4". Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/23944.aspx. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  12. ^ "Area 5 Map". Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/aboutus/2328.aspx. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  13. ^ "Area 6". Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/13945.aspx. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  14. ^ "Area 8". Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/18447.aspx. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  15. ^ "Area 7". Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/13775.aspx. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  16. ^ "Area 9". Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/14215.aspx. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  17. ^ "Area 10". Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/21434.aspx. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  18. ^ "Area 13". Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/17259.aspx. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  19. ^ "Area 12". Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/20785.aspx. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  20. ^ "Area 14". Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/19413.aspx. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  21. ^ a b Highways Agency - National Traffic Control Centre
  22. ^ a b "Overview". National Traffic Control Centre. Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/knowledge/1291.aspx. Retrieved 2008-01-01. 
  23. ^ Highways Agency - National Traffic Control Centre
  24. ^ "Festive test for transport network". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 2007-12-21. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7155984.stm. Retrieved 2008-01-01. 
  25. ^ http://www.trafficengland.com/TCC/
  26. ^ "Better Information" (PDF). Highways Agency. May 2004. http://www.highways.gov.uk/knowledge/documents/better_info.pdf. Retrieved 2008-01-01. 
  27. ^ "Services to be Delivered". The Highways Agency's Traffic Control Centre Project. Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/knowledge/2031.aspx. Retrieved 2008-01-01. 
  28. ^ Highways Agency - National Traffic Control Centre
  29. ^ Highways Agency - How We Manage Our Roads
  30. ^ Career information and graduate scheme details here.
  31. ^ "Traffic England: Real-time traffic information". Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/business/13595.aspx. Retrieved 2008-03-19. 
  32. ^ "Traffic England: Traffic information". Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/knowledge/15234.aspx. Retrieved 2008-03-19. 
  33. ^ "Traffic England: Event Information". Highways Agency. http://www.trafficengland.com/TCC/SiteGuide/ViewSiteGuideIndex.do#Events%20table. Retrieved 2008-03-19. 
  34. ^ "Traffic England: Current Motorway Information". Highways Agency. http://www.trafficengland.com/TCC/SiteGuide/ViewSiteGuideIndex.do#Current%20Motorway%20Information. Retrieved 2008-03-19. 
  35. ^ "Highways Agency: Current Motorway Information Ticker". Highways Agency. http://www.highways.gov.uk/traffic/11253.aspx. Retrieved 2008-03-19. 
  36. ^ http://www.survivegroup.org

External links

Video clips


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


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Proper noun

Highways Agency (abbreviation HA)

  1. (British) An executive agency of the Department for Transport in the United Kingdom with responsibility for managing the core road network in England.

Derived terms


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