After spending almost four years working with the previous Secretary of State, Patrick McLoughlin, to shape transport policy I have a confession to make. We spent, in Government, far too much time working on rail policy and not enough on roads.
We never managed to think about roads as a system, with income and costs and customers. Because of that, our roads are not funded as well as they could be.
There has been some progress. Patrick McLoughlin led the creation of Highways England, which is proving to be a real success. He created the Roads Investment Strategy (RIS), with five- year funding, and a host of new start schemes on trunk roads, as well as new funding for local projects through Local Enterprise Partnerships. We also oversaw the evolution of the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) from a rail regulator to a roads and rail regulator, with Transport Focus speaking up for the users of England’s major roads.
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