'Using our expertise we have concentrated on getting the best out of the existing motorway and trunk road network - constantly striving to find new and more effective ways of improving our service to all our customers.
'A key area of activity this year has been to develop new ways of improving traffic flows and journey reliability on our roads. The early results of the pilot on the M25, which uses real-time traffic information from sensors in the road, are encouraging as are the results from trials on re-designing road markings to influence driver behaviour.
'We also pioneered new ways to bring private money into roads maintenance and improvement. A significant area of activity for the agency this year was the co-ordination of negotiations on Design, Build, Finance and Operate contracts, a new way of involving the private sector in building new roads and in maintaining parts of the motorway and trunk road network.
During 1995/96 the Highways Agency says it has:
-- introduced the Controlled Motorway Pilot Scheme which has improved journey reliability and reduced accidents on the south west quadrant of the M25
-- revised its two charter documents outlining the services that road users and those affected by our roads can expect from the Agency
-- developed a Landscape Strategy for London
-- developed new techniques to re-cycle material during construction, helping to save valuable resources and reduce lorry movements on and off site
-- negotiated and successfully let its first four Design, Build, Finance and Operate contracts
-- developed strategies to improve its contractual arrangements and to allow both the private and public sectors to bid to manage the network. These will encourage innovation and value for money
-- gained the Employment Service's 'two-tick' symbol in recognition of its equal opportunities employment measures.
The Highways Agency Annual Report and Accounts 1995/96 is published by HMSO, ISBN 0-11-551842-8, price £10. It is available from HMSO bookshops and accredited agents.