Highways AgencyThe government has confirmed a new company, Highways England, will take over responsibility for England’s motorways and major A-roads on 1 April.

The new organisation replaces the Highways Agency and will operate in a similar way to its Scottish equivalent, Transport Scotland.

Unlike the Highways Agency, Highways England is a government-owned company that, it is claimed, will “ensure greater certainty over the upgrades planned between now and 2021.

“This will save the taxpayer at least £2.6 billion over the next 10 years,” added the government.

The change in roads management in England follows the second reading of the Infrastructure Bill in December 2014, and is part of the government’s £15 billion ‘road investment strategy’. This includes over 1,300 additional lane miles of road through more than 100 “major schemes”.

Roads Minister John Hayes said: “It is only right that the new government-owned company has a name that reflects its new role, as a road operator that delivers a fast, efficient and better service for road users and the country.”

It’s all part of getting ‘more for less’, he told the BBC: “When we first started doing smart motorways they were costing £10m a mile and they are now costing £8m.”

Last week, 300 Highways Agency staff moved into new headquarters in Surrey ahead of the Highways England launch on 1 April.