Benchmarking Highways England's performance and efficiency


This page contains details of the Office of Rail and Road’s (ORR’s) plans and activities in benchmarking Highways England’s performance and efficiency.

One of the ORR’s core activities, as the Highways Monitor, is to benchmark Highways England’s performance and efficiency against comparable organisations, including in other countries or other sectors. This is a critical part of ensuring that we can:

  • assess Highways England’s performance and efficiency;
  • highlight both good and bad areas of performance; and
  • identify where efforts would be best focused to improve outcomes for road users.

One of the major objectives of our benchmarking work will be to inform the development of future Road Investment Strategies (RIS). For example benchmarking will inform our assessment of whether Highways England’s Strategic Business Plan is challenging and deliverable within the applicable funding envelope, and will help in the development of the performance specification for future Road Periods.

This page brings together all of the published documents and reports relating to our Highways England benchmarking activities:

Latest report

2019 Progress report

Benchmarking Highways England – 2019 progress report
This report covers our fourth year of benchmarking Highways England. It summarises regional performance and maintenance spending in 2018-19. It also provides an overview of our commissioned consultancy study into the feasibility of comparing pavement condition between Highways England and comparators.

Our progress report shows how our work over the last four years has met the initial objectives we set out in April 2016 to benchmark Highways England’s performance and efficiency.
Published 25 February 2020

Comparing pavement condition – Feasibility study
We commissioned CEPA and TRL to assess the feasibility of comparing and benchmarking Highways England’s pavement condition across other road authorities. The study examines the composition and level of detail of pavement condition data across road authorities in the UK and abroad that are comparable to Highways England's pavement metric.
Published 25 February 2020

Previous reports

2018 Progress report
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Benchmarking Highways England – 2018 progress report
This report is an update on our benchmarking work in 2018. It provides a regional breakdown of Highways England's performance and maintenance spending in 2017-18 and across the first three years of the first road period. It also provides a brief summary of our most recent studies that compare different elements of Highways England's activities internationally and across sectors.
Published 31 January 2019

Highways England and incident management
This study carried out by Elliott Asset Management and partners looks at how Highways England and comparable organisations manage, measure, target and incentivise clearing incidents from their networks.
Published 31 January 2019

Measuring pavement condition
This report from CEPA and TRL compares how Highways England and other road authorities measure and report on the condition of their road surfaces.
Published 31 January 2019

Scoping options for benchmarking Highways England's capital efficiency
We commissioned CEPA and ITS Leeds to identify and scope ways in which we could benchmark the efficiency of Highways England's capital spending as part of our Efficiency Review of plans for the second road period.
Published 31 January 2019

2017 Progress report
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Benchmarking Highways England – 2017 progress report
This report summarises our benchmarking activities in 2017. It provides analysis and an overview of consultancy research we commissioned that made regional, international and cross-sectoral comparisons of different elements of Highways England’s performance and efficiency.
Published 19 December 2017

Efficiency of Highways England’s operating expenditure: Analysis of productivity and unit cost change
This report from CEPA looks at operating efficiency improvements made in other sectors at different stages after significant structural reforms.
Published 19 December 2017

Highways England – roadworks management
ORR commissioned Credo to review how Highways England and comparable organisations manage their roadworks. This report summarises the approach taken, findings and recommendations.
Published 19 December 2017

International journey time benchmarking: Strategic Road Networks
This research from Transport Futures develops and applies an approach to compare delays on strategic road networks across Europe.
Published 19 December 2017

2016 Progress report
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Benchmarking Highways England’s performance - 2016 progress report
14 December 2016

This document reports our initial progress in carrying out the plan we published in April 2016, structured around three broad areas:

  • Regional comparisons – focusing on Highways England’s regional performance and initial analysis of factors affecting user satisfaction;
  • International benchmarking – identifying a set of potential international comparators for Highways England and reporting initial international road safety comparisons; and
  • Cross-sectoral analysis – where we have commissioned research on the operational efficiency improvements achieved in other sectors.

Our plan for benchmarking Highways England’s performance and efficiency
4 April 2016
This document sets out our long-term vision for Highways England to play a central role in networks covering a wide range of benchmarking activities and comparator organisations. However, such networks can take a long time to develop so the plan also sets out the areas where we will concentrate our benchmarking efforts in the shorter-term, focusing on areas that are most likely to inform the development of RIS2, particularly:

  • internal benchmarking of performance and efficiency across Highways England’s regions; and
  • safety, where comparable international data are more likely to be available.

We will provide an update on progress with, and any changes to, our plan before the end of 2016.

Benchmarking Highways England - Scoping study
We commissioned KPMG to review and assess existing highways benchmarking evidence and analysis, and to recommend how this could be used and developed by the ORR and Highways England. The recommendations made in this scoping study informed the development of our planned benchmarking programme, which we published in March 2016.