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Designated
Funds

At Highways England, our work goes beyond operating, maintaining and improving roads.

 

As custodian of the country’s motorways and major A-roads, we know that the work we do makes a positive difference – for people, the economy and the planet.

From 2020 to 2025, we’ll be investing £936 million from our standalone – or designated – funding. This money is allocated to four funding streams focused on making improvements that will make the biggest difference and deliver lasting benefits.

Our four designated funds are:

Safety and congestion

Making your journeys safer and more reliable

Making your journeys safer and more reliable

We play a vital role in peoples’ lives. 95 billion journeys take place on our roads every year, carrying a third of the country’s traffic. With more people using our network than any other form of transport, our priority remains improving the safety of those travelling and working on our roads.

We also recognise that congestion is a concern for everyone who uses our roads – adding stress and preventing people from getting to their destination on time. This fund has two themes aimed at alleviating congestion and improving safety on our roads:

Corporate targets

The themes in this fund support our corporate targets to:

Reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads by at least 50% (against the 2005-2009 average baseline) by the end of 2025.
Reduce delays for people travelling on our network so that average delay per mile driven is no worse by the end of the second Road Period (2020-2025) compared to the end of the first Road Period (2015-2020).

Further details of the performance measures that Highways England is monitored against can be found in our Operational Metrics Manual.

Our work so far

Our Safety and congestion fund is new and runs from April 2020 until March 2025. Between 2015 and 2020, we used other designated funds to achieve similar aims, including:

Here are some of our stories

Humber compliance vehicle

Preventing self-harm

Roger Millward Way

Environment and wellbeing

We know that there’s a need to balance people’s reliance on our roads with doing all we can to protect and improve the environment.

We know that there’s a need to balance people’s reliance on our roads with doing all we can to protect and improve the environment.

This fund is helping us operate our business in an environmentally responsible way, while making sure sustainability shapes our work from start to finish. It has nine themes which support our vision of a greener, more sustainable, road network:

Corporate targets

The themes in this fund support our corporate targets to:

Mitigate road noise for 7,500 households in ‘noise important areas’.
Ensure no net loss of biodiversity across all Highways England activities by 2025.
Bring agreed sections of the Strategic Road Network into compliance with legal NO2 limit values as soon as possible.
Reduce carbon emissions resulting from Highways England’s electricity consumption, fuel use and other day-to-day operational activities during the second Road Period (2020-2025).

Further details of the performance measures that Highways England is monitored against can be found in our Operational Metrics Manual.

Our work so far

Working with our partners, we’re achieving greater environmental outcomes together. Our progress so far:

Here are some of our stories

Hull Minster

Electric Vehicle Trials

A38 Stover Park Wetland

Users and communities

Whether you travel on our roads, or live and work around them, we’re listening and responding to your needs.

Whether you travel on our roads, or live and work around them, we’re listening and responding to your needs.

Society relies on our road network for work journeys and home deliveries, visits to friends and family, holidays and the goods and services we all depend on.

As technology and travel evolves, this fund is helping us look beyond road journeys to do more for our customers and neighbours. It has six themes aimed at meeting their needs:

Corporate targets

The themes in this fund support our corporate targets to:

Achieve an 82% road user satisfaction score for the first two years of the second Road Period (2020-2025) with year on year increases in the following years.
Reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads by at least 50% (against the 2005-2009 average baseline) by the end of 2025.

Further details of the performance measures that Highways England is monitored against can be found in our Operational Metrics Manual.

Our work so far

Our Users and communities fund is new, and runs from April 2020 until March 2025. Between 2015 and 2020, we used other designated funds to achieve similar aims, including:

Here are some of our stories

Managing Travel Demand

Keswick Trail

Hidden History

Innovation and modernisation

Your journeys will keep improving through our investment in innovation, science and technology.

Your journeys will keep improving through our investment in innovation, science and technology.

Technology is rapidly influencing the transport sector. We know we need to keep innovating to improve experiences on the road, while getting people where they need to be, safely and reliably.

Through this fund, we’re constantly exploring new ways to improve safety and journeys, connect the country and drive the economy. It has five themes which are revolutionising travel and work on our roads:

Our work so far

We’re digitising our design processes, transforming how we’ll deliver the next generation of roads and finding better ways to protect our workforce and road users. Our progress so far:

Here are some of our stories

Innovation Competitions

Transforming Road Markings

Eyes in the Sky

Delivering in partnership

Strong relationships and partnerships are important to us. We work with experts in their fields, from innovators and nature conservationists to safety and customer service specialists. By helping us make better investments, providing co-funding or delivering on our behalf, our partners allow us to do more, together.

Apply for funding

We welcome applications for funding from Highways England teams and external organisations from the public, third and private sectors. All applications will be subject to the same principles for funding, found in our Designated funds plan 2020–2025.

If you’re a Highways England colleague, or are already working with us, contact your local designated funds lead for more information about how to apply for funding from our designated funds.

If you’re not already working with us, but have a project or initiative that might be eligible for funding, please tell us more about it by completing an Expression of interest form.

Download the Expression of interest form

If you have questions, or would like to discuss an idea before completing the Expression of interest form, please email our designated funds team here. We’ll connect you with the best person in our organisation to guide you through the application and appraisal process.

Woman cyclist

What we’ve achieved with designated funds so far

Between 2015 and 2020, we invested more than £653 million in over 2,000 initiatives, finding new ways to improve our network and its surroundings.

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How our work is monitored

The Office of Road and Rail makes sure we meet our commitments to improve England’s motorways and major A-roads, while meeting the needs of road users. They monitor our progress against our performance and efficiency goals.

Transport Focus represents and champions road user needs. We have worked closely with them to develop our plans for the next five years, recognising their role in representing the interests of our customers.

Frequently asked questions