New design panel will influence £11bn road programme

The Design Council, The National Trust, and The Royal Institute of British Architects are among those on a panel set up by Highways England which will embed design-led thinking into the UK’s £11bn five-year road programme.

Winding Scottish Road
George Clerk

The Government has named the design panel which will help embed a design-led approach to £11bn of UK road improvements over the next five years.

A panel, which includes The Design Council, The National Trust, and The Royal Institute of British Architects has been given a remit to integrate design-led thinking into all road improvement schemes.

Highways England, which has put the panel together, will seek advice on new road schemes and how best to manage and operate the road network. The panel will also help develop a new design standard for roads.

There will be a particular emphasis on ensuring that roads are in harmony with their surroundings according to Highways England – a sentiment which was echoed by Transport Minister John Hayes who spoke about plans for a design panel in February.

At the time Hayes spoke of the need for “beautiful roads” which would “sink softly” into the landscape and be surrounded by trees and plants.

Highways England chief Highways engineer Mike Wilson says the new panel presents “a great opportunity to get input from experts, which can only be a good thing for Highways England as we set off on the road of good design.”

The other groups represented on the panel are The Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Campaign for Better Transport, Landscape Institute, Prince’s Foundation, Institution of Civil Engineers, Natural England, Institution of Structural Engineers and Historic England.

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