Posts

This post looks at:

Infrastructure Act 2015
Highways England License,
DfT’s  Road Investment Strategy ,
HE’s Delivery Plan 2015 – 2020
The Office of Rail & Roads first 6 monthly monitoring report on HE

all in the light of HE’s EPA S89 Duty to keep its land clear of litter.

Summary

The Infrastructure Act states that:

Highways England are a duty body in respect to EPA S89- Duty to keep land clear of litter.

The Secretary of State may set a Road Investment Strategy for HE

The RIS  must specify the objectives to be achieved by HE.

The Secretary of State and HE must comply with the RIS

The ORR must monitor how HE exercises its functions.

Those activities (of the ORR) may include investigating, publishing reports or giving advice to the Secretary of State on  whether, how and at what cost a strategic highways company has achieved its objectives under an RIS,

If HE contravene the RIS the ORR can instruct them to remedy any breach or fine it

The ORR’s activities should be targeted at cases where action is needed.

HE’s License says:

HE must demonstrate in the Delivery Plan how it aims to comply with the general duty to maintain its  highways.

HE must cooperate with and assist the ORR to support the fulfillment of their statutory functions..

HE must establish a stakeholder advisory panel  including environmental groups and seek advice from them on a regular basis.

HE must develop and implement strategic plans that demonstrate how it aims to meet its legal duties  with regard to the environment, to be published to timescales specified its Delivery Plan.

HE must provide data or information on its performance in complying with RIS, Strategic Business Plan, Delivery Plan and Licence, as required by the ORR  for the purpose of fulfilling its statutory functions.

The Road Investment Strategy:

The RIS makes no reference to litter or the EPA S89 Duty.

Checking this 160 page document using the find facility on my web browser I noted the following number of references: “litter” 0 (zero), “biodiversity” 31, “noise” 35, “air quality” 21, “clean” 4 but only in reference to air / fumes.

The ORR will scrutinise the Company’s delivery of the RIS.

The ORR will also scrutinise the delivery of the efficiency targets set out by the Company, as well as the other elements of the performance specification.

8 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are set out against which the performance of HE will be assessed cowering:

Safety, user satisfaction, traffic flow, encouraging economic growth, environmental outcomes, cyclists and other vulnerable users, efficiency, keeping the network on good condition.

HE Delivery Plan:

HE will deliver its duties under the Environmental Protection Act by removing litter from our motorway network, educational programmes and working with Local Authorities with respect to the APTRs.

Highways Monitor Six month review of Highways England’s performance April – September 2015

No references to litter

Infrastructure Act

Infrastructure Act 2015

(1)The Secretary of State may by order in accordance with this Part appoint one or more companies as a highway authority.

S3 Road Investment Strategy

(1) The Secretary of State may at any time— (a) set a Road Investment Strategy for a strategic highways company, or (b)vary a Strategy which has already been set.

(3) A Road Investment Strategy must specify— (a)the objectives to be achieved by the company during the period to which it relates, and (b)the financial resources to be provided by the Secretary of State for the purpose of achieving those objectives.

(4)The objectives to be achieved may include— (a)activities to be performed; (b)results to be achieved; (c)standards to be met.

(6)The Secretary of State and the company must comply with the Road Investment Strategy.

S6 Directions and guidance

(1) The Secretary of State may from time to time give a strategic highways company directions or guidance as to the manner in which it is to exercise its functions.

(2) Directions under subsection (1) may provide, in particular, that a function is only to be exercised— (a)after consultation with the Secretary of State, or (b)with the consent of the Secretary of State.

(3)In exercising its functions, a strategic highways company must— (a)comply with a direction, and (b)have regard to guidance,given to it under subsection (1).

S9 Watchdog

(1) The Passengers’ Council must carry out activities to protect and promote the interests of users of highways for which a strategic highways company is the highway authority.

(2) Those activities may include investigating, publishing reports or giving advice to the Secretary of State on:

(a) how a strategic highways company’s exercise of its functions or achievement of its objectives under a Road Investment Strategy affects users of highways for which it is the highway authority, and

(b)any other matters—
(i)relating to highways for which a strategic highways company is the highway authority, and
(ii)which the Council considers to be of interest to users of such highways.

S10 Monitor

(1) The Office of Rail Regulation must carry out activities to monitor how a strategic highways company exercises its functions.

(2) Those activities may include investigating, publishing reports or giving advice to the Secretary of State on—

(a) whether, how and at what cost a strategic highways company has achieved its objectives under a Road Investment Strategy,

(b) objectives for a future Road Investment Strategy, and

(c) the effect of directions and guidance given by the Secretary of State to a strategic highways company under this Part.

(3) The Office may direct a strategic highways company to provide such information as the Office considers necessary for the purpose of carrying out activities under subsection (1).

(4) A direction under subsection (3) may specify the form and manner in which the information is to be provided.

(6) The strategic highways company must comply with a direction under subsection (3).

(7) The Secretary of State must, in exercising functions under this Part, have regard to any advice given to him or her by the Office under this section.

(8) The Secretary of State must lay a report published by the Office under this section before Parliament.

 

11 Monitor: compliance and fines

(1) If the Office of Rail Regulation is satisfied that a strategic highways company has contravened or is contravening—

(a) section 3(6) (compliance with the Road Investment Strategy), or

(b) section 6(3) (compliance with directions and regard to guidance),

the Office may take one or more of the steps mentioned in subsection (2).

(2) The Office may—

(a) give notice to the company as to the contravention and the steps the company must take in order to remedy it;

(b) require the company to pay a fine to the Secretary of State.

12 Monitor: general duties

(1) The Office of Rail Regulation must exercise its functions under sections 10 and 11 in the way that it considers most likely to promote— (a) the performance, and (b) the efficiency, of the strategic highways company.

(2)The Office must also, in exercising those functions, have regard to— (a)the interests of users of highways, (b)the safety of users of highways,(c)the economic impact of the way in which the strategic highways company achieves its objectives, (d)the environmental impact of the way in which the strategic highways company achieves its objectives, (e)the long-term maintenance and management of highways, and (f)the principles in subsection (3).

(3)The principles are that— (a)regulatory activities should be carried out in a way which is transparent, accountable, proportionate and consistent, and  (b)regulatory activities should be targeted only at cases in which action is needed.

Section 111 of Schedule I – EPA S89 Duty to keep land clear of litter

Section 111 of Schedule I  makes HE a duty body for the purposes of EPA S89. One of its functions therefore is to ensure, so far as is practicable, that its network is kept clear of litter and refuse.

Highways England License

Highways England License 

1.1 The Secretary of State has appointed Highways England Company Limited (the “Licence holder”) as a strategic highways company by way of an Order in accordance with section 1 of the Infrastructure Act 2015. The effect of this appointment is to confer upon the Licence holder the legislative functions of a strategic highways company as regards the areas and highways in respect of which it is appointed.

2.2 “Enforcement Policy”- means the Highways Monitor’s policies that secure ” the Licence holder’s compliance with the requirements of the Road Investment Strategy and the Licence.

3.2 It is not intended that these conditions should be incompatible with other legal duties or statutory guidance, though they may affect the manner in which certain functions (including statutory functions) are discharged

5.20 The Licence holder must cooperate with and assist Transport Focus and the Highways Monitor to support the fulfilment of their statutory functions and must formally agree working practices with the respective organisations to facilitate this.

5.5 The Licence holder must demonstrate in the Delivery Plan how it aims to comply with the general duty to maintain highways in section 41 of the Highways Act

5.20 The Licence holder must cooperate with and assist Transport Focus and the Highways Monitor to support the fulfilment of their statutory functions and must formally agree working practices with the respective organisations to facilitate this.

5.21 The Licence holder must develop and implement a stakeholder engagement plan that demonstrates how it aims to communicate, engage and cooperate with others in exercising its functions and complying with the requirements set out in 5.17 – 5.19, to be published to timescales specified in the Licence holder’s Delivery Plan.

5.22 The Licence holder must establish a stakeholder advisory panel to provide advice to the Licence holder’s Board on issues directly affecting local authorities and communities, and ensure that: a. The membership of the panel includes representation from a credible range of local government and other stakeholders, including environmental and safety groups, as appropriate; b. The Licence holder seeks advice from the panel on a regular basis.

5.24 The Licence holder must develop and implement strategic plans that demonstrate how it aims to meet its legal duties and other obligations with regard to the environment, including the requirements of 5.23, to be published to timescales specified in the Licence holder’s Delivery Plan.

6.1 The Secretary of State may at any time set a Road Investment Strategy (RIS) for a strategic highways company, or vary a RIS that has already been set

6.28 The Secretary of State is able to vary a RIS once it has been agreed, and the Licence holder may also request a change to the RIS.

7.1 The Licence holder must provide data or information on its performance in complying with and/or delivering the requirements of the Road Investment Strategy, Strategic Business Plan, Delivery Plan and Licence, as required by the Highways Monitor for the purpose of fulfilling its statutory functions.

8.1 The Licence holder must act within the conditions of this Licence at all times.

8.2 Where the Licence holder fails to comply with the conditions of the Licence, the Highways Monitor may act to enforce these conditions, including through the issue of improvement notices or the levying of fines under section 11 of the Infrastructure Act 2015, in accordance with the Highways Monitor’s published Enforcement Policy and any relevant agreement with, or with due regard to guidance from, the Secretary of State.

8.3 These conditions do not limit the ability of the Highways Monitor to apply sanctions to other situations that do not involve breaches of the Licence.

8.8 If a failure to deliver or a breach of statutory duty or other obligation by the Licence holder is so great that it constitutes a loss of confidence in the ability of the Licence holder to fulfil its legal duties or other obligations, this may result in directions from the Secretary of State or revocation of the appointment by the Secretary of State.

8.9 The Secretary of State will not take such a course of action without evidence from the Highways Monitor that the Licence holder has failed to discharge its legal duties or other obligations.

Road Investment Strategy 2015 -20

Road Investment Strategy

[Checking this 160 page document using the find facility on my web browser I noted the following number of references: “litter” 0 (zero), “biodiversity” 31, “noise” 35, “air quality” 21, “clean” 4 but only in reference to air / fumes.]

Page 54 Maintenance

As part of this Investment Plan, we are committing over three quarters of a billion pounds to long term capital renewals every year. This will allow for the repair and replacement of 80% of the road surfaces on the network, accelerating the transition from older surfaces to new ones that can be maintained overnight with less disruption for traffic. This also means that the noise impact of the network will be reduced further, as new surfaces are quieter than their predecessors.

This is on top of normal year-on-year maintenance, which handles day-to-day management of the network, and which is worth around £300 million a year. The total spending on maintaining and renewing the network will be over a billion pounds a year, 41% higher than it is at present, and fully committed as part of the investment plan. This will be coupled with a 38% increase in annual funding for local authority highway maintenance, helping to tackle potholes and other road repairs. Overall, this means that our major roads and motorways will be among the best maintained in the world, and fit to last for future generations.

Page  67 Monitoring arrangements

The Strategic Road Network Monitor will scrutinise the Company’s delivery of the RIS.

The Company will develop and publish a Delivery Plan (to be updated on an annual basis) that will set out detailed cost baselines and delivery timescales for schemes which start construction in that year and estimated costs and delivery dates for schemes which will start in subsequent years. It will also set out the plans for delivering the Ring-fenced Investment Funds, ensuring that these represent value for money. This will allow the Monitor to examine the Company’s performance against the assumptions of cost and time frames set out in the Delivery Plan.

The Monitor will also scrutinise the delivery of the efficiency targets set out by the Company, as well as the other elements of the performance specification. Further information is set out in Transparency for Roads [DfT, October 2014].

Part 3 Performance Specification

Executive Summary Page 7  The performance of the Company will be assessed by the Office of Rail Regulation as the independent Monitor, the new Watchdog and by the government. The Monitor will have a formal role, with responsibility for taking action, if required, to encourage improved performance. The Watchdog will also gather the views of road users to formulate advice for the Secretary of State

Page 10 – We have detailed eight areas, which broadly link back to the Strategic Vision, where we require the Company to be focused:

● Making the Network safer;

● Improving user satisfaction;

● Supporting the smooth flow of traffic;

● Encouraging economic growth;

● Delivering better environmental outcomes;

● Helping cyclists, walkers, and other vulnerable users of the Network;

● Achieving real efficiency; and

● Keeping the Network in good condition

Measuring success – In each area, we expect the performance of the Company and the Network to be assessed against:

● Key Performance Indicators (KPIs); [KPIs are later set out for each of the above]

● Performance Indicators (PIs); and

● Requirements that will help to develop future strategy or performance measures

Page 12

The Monitor will issue guidance that sets out how they monitor the operational and financial performance of the Company. The Watchdog may also issue guidelines setting out any additional requirements that it has.

HE’s Delivery Plan 2015-20

Delivery Plan 2015 – 2020

6.1.9 Other environmental initiatives
Litter and vegetation
Highways England will deliver its duties under the Environmental Protection Act by removing litter from our motorway network. We will further improve our performance in this area by developing and delivering educational campaigns to inform people of the safety and environmental risks of discarding rubbish. We will continue to work with local authorities to reduce litter on the APTR.

Highways Monitor Six month review of Highways England’s performance April – September 2015

Highways Monitor Six month review of Highways England’s performance April – September 2015

In its 49 pages including a two page section entitled “Delivering a better environmental “ it did not make a single reference to “litter”. Cleaning was only mentioned in relation to clean air. However, it managed to make 15 reference to “noise” and 17 to “biodiversity”.

It lists “performance indicators” for air quality, CO2, flooding, but none for cleansing/litter.

The review covers each of the KPIs specified in the RIS

Under Delivering better environmental outcomes – it covers noise, biodiversity, air quality but not litter

Under Keeping the Network in good condition again there is no reference to litter

List of Performance indicators

Peter Silverman
15th March 2016

 

 

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