Highways Agency (National) 

    The Highways Agency is highlighting the important role that sustainable development plays in helping to move society towards a low carbon future as their Sustainable Development Plan is published today. 

    The Agency, which is responsible for motorways and other strategic roads in England, is working to balance its responsibility to develop and operate the strategic road network effectively, with its responsibilities to protect the environment and support economic growth.

    Dean Kerwick-Chrisp, Head of Sustainability, Equality and Diversity at the Highways Agency, said: 

    “Operating and improving our strategic road network more effectively lies at the heart of greater sustainability. We recognise we have a key role to play in supporting economic recovery as these roads carry a third of all vehicle traffic and two thirds of all freight journeys in England and they are an integral part of our national way of life, providing links for communities and businesses and contributing to national wellbeing. 

    “It is important that we understand and limit the impacts that these roads can have on communities and the environment. Our Sustainable Development Plan sets out how we want to work together with our suppliers and others to ensure the impact of the roads we are responsible for is kept as low as possible while we deliver sustainable economic growth, improve quality of life for communities and protect our natural environment now and for future generations.” 

    The Agency’s Sustainable Development Plan seeks to make sustainable development central to the way the Agency and its partners operate. For example, an innovative waste and materials procurement strategy developed on the M25 widening scheme between junctions 16 and 23 resulted in over £15 million pounds being saved by recycling over 70% of waste produced on site and finding new uses for imported waste materials. 

    The Agency has a proven track record in delivering solutions to support a sustainable future, such as our energy efficiency strategy which has seen lights switched off or removed along stretches of motorway where, according to standards revised in 2007, they are no longer required and where removal or switching-off does not affect safety. On the lengths of motorway where midnight to 5am switch-off has been implemented the Agency has reduced its annual electricity consumption by approximately 3,300,000 kwh, equivalent to annual carbon dioxide equivalent savings of around 1800 tonnes CO2e.