The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has awarded the Road Safety Foundation a contract to review how investments are prioritised to improve safety outcomes by Highways England (HE).

The Foundation will look at how HE ranks the location and type of scheme to deliver; how these decisions are influenced by HE’s key performance indicators; and how the company takes account of the safety star rating of the network when making investment decisions.

It will also examine how HE considers safety outcomes in its economic appraisal of future schemes; evaluates the success of safety schemes, and how this subsequently informs future investment priorities; and look at how cycling, safety and integration ring-fenced fund and safety improvements are delivered as part of major schemes.

Crucially, the project will also assess how safety investment on smart motorways is appraised, prioritised and evaluated.

Kate Fuller, Acting Executive Director of the Road Safety Foundation said: “This commission is an ideal opportunity to health-check the approach of Highways England to road safety in a timely way. This should help to shape and influence future programmes of interventions in order to get better value for money, save more lives and reduce injuries on our strategic road network.  We are proposing an in-depth analysis, which will include detailed person to person interviews and comparisons with best practice around the world. The outcome should be of value to everyone in the industry, including local highway authorities.”

Commenting on the contract, Iain Ritchie, ORR’s Roads Performance Analyst says: “We’re delighted to be working with the Road Safety Foundation on this project to review how Highways England prioritises its investments to improve safety. By highlighting areas of best practice, and identifying opportunities for further improvement, the project will support Highways England in achieving its long-term goal that nobody is harmed when travelling or working on the strategic road network.”

To deliver the four-month project, the Road Safety Foundation is working with global expert in road safety management Jeanne Breen OBE and Tony Ciaburro of Castello Consulting, a specialist in providing strategic policy advice and support on transport, infrastructure and environmental services to both the public and private sectors.