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National Highways


Supply Chain Opportunities:

We run an annual Meet the Buyers event to promote opportunities across our Regional Investment Programme (in particular the network improvement schemes being delivered by our Regional Delivery Partnership).

See the presentations and opportunities from our last event (held in August 2021) here.

National Highways

National Highways is the government company charged with operating, maintaining and improving England’s motorways and major A roads. Our road network totals around 4,300 miles – carrying a third of all traffic by mileage and two thirds of all heavy goods traffic.

We work to provide free-flowing, safe, serviceable, accessible, and integrated roads. Our network helps drive economic growth across the country, creating jobs, supporting businesses, and opening areas for development.

As a responsible road operator, we recognise that, while roads are essential for society and the economy, their use does present environmental challenges. So, we will avoid or reduce adverse environmental impacts wherever possible.

By 2025, we are committed to cutting our carbon footprint, and to achieving no net loss of biodiversity across all our activities. As one of England’s largest landowners, we are proud of the work we do to look after the wildlife that lives alongside our network, and to protect and improve the environment for future generations. We will also support government’s drive to achieve net-zero carbon by 2050.

View our website for more about our work.

Strategic Priorities:

On 11 March 2020, as part of the Budget, the chancellor announced a £27.4 billion budget for investment in the Strategic Road Network between 2020 and 2025. Find out how we’ll invest this budget to help connect the country in our:
Activity Pipeline
Net Zero Strategy

Creating a Sustainable Supply Chain

The Supply Chain School and National Highways have worked with prime contractor supplier partners to develop a Supplier Development System (SDS), available to Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers.

This consists of a Self Assessment and linked Action Plan to drive individual / organisation learning.

It is not linked to any commercial or procurement process. Its sole intention is to help develop an understanding of National Highways priorities and how the supply chain can align to those.

Topics included in the Supplier Development System are:

  • Health, Safety & Wellbeing
  • Leadership & collaboration
  • Efficiency & effectiveness
  • Supply chain
  • Net zero carbon & sustainability
  • Social value

Suppliers complete a self-assessment then receive an action plan to help build more sustainability knowledge.

Find out more and Enrol on the Supplier Development System

Learning Pathways

National Highways Learning Pathways, providing a linked series of curated learning resources for our supply chain, are available to any individual School member to self-enrol:

Understanding our Work Programmes and Major Projects

Regional Delivery Partnership (RDP)

The Regional Deliver Partnership (RDP) initiative is providing targeted training and sustainability knowledge to the RDP supply chains across England; working closely with several Delivery Integration Partners (DIPs).

The sustainability support programme for RDP is being actively supported by the following Delivery Integration Partners (DIPs): Balfour Beatty, BAM Nuttall, Costain, Galliford Try, Graham, Kier, Osborne, Skanska, VINCI and Volkerfitzpatrick.

A programme of workshops and supplier webinars for the RDP supply chain cover a full range of sustainability issues – for example Carbon, Waste, FIR, Social Value, Wellbeing, Modern Slavery, Offsite, Lean Construction. These events will be promoted on the School Events page.

Performance, outcomes and impact will be measured using an innovative Sustainability Tool. A bespoke version of this Tool will be available to all companies involved in any RDP scheme across England.

Access resources and recordings of 2021 training sessions offered so far below:

  • RDP’s Launch Event on 29th January 21. Click here
  • RDP’s Sustainability Tool Training for DIPs on 15th Feb 21. Click here
  • RDP’s Sustainability Tool Training for Suppliers on 1st March 21. Click here
  • RDP’s workshop on ‘Introduction to Climate Change and Carbon’, 23rd Feb 21. Click here
  • RDP’s workshop on ‘Collaborative working’,17th Mar 21. Click here
  • RDP’s webinar on ‘Creating Social Value within the Highways Industry’, 20th Apr 21. Click here to see the video- recording. Click here to view the slides
  • RDP’s workshop on ‘Wellbeing’, 28th Apr 21. Click here
  • RDP’s workshop on ‘Offsite’ on 19th May 21. Please, click here to view the mural board
  • RDP’s workshop on ‘The Business case for FIR’ on 10thJune 21. Please, click here to access the slides
  • RDP’s workshop on ‘Lean Construction’ on 16thJune 21. Please, click here to view the material
  • RDP’s webinar on ‘Reducing Carbon in the Highways Industry’ on 8th July 21. Please, click here to access the video recording. You can also view the material here
  • Highways England Regional Delivery Partnership – National Meet the Buyers Event, 11 August 2021
  • RDP’s workshop on ‘Introduction to Modern Slavery’ on 8th September 21. Click here
  • RDP’s workshop on ‘Social Value’ on 29th September 21. Click here
  • RDP’s webinar on ‘Offsite Construction for Highways’ on 18th October 21. Please, click here to view the slides on Modern Methods of Construction, and  here to view the material on Lean Construction
  • RDP’s workshop on ‘Waste & Resource Efficiency’ on 11th November 21. Click here
  • RDP’s workshop on ‘Sustainable Procurement’ on 24th November 21. Click here
  • RDP’s workshop on ‘Business Ethics’ on 8th December 21. Click here

For 2022 RDP training workshops and webinars, please see our training page.

Scheme Delivery Framework (SDF)

The National Highways Scheme Delivery Framework (SDF), announced in 2021, brings together 50 supply chain partners to carry out up to £3.6 billion worth of renewals to keep England’s motorways and major A roads running safely and smoothly over a 6 year period.

The Supply Chain School is supporting the SDF suppliers and sub-contractors with training workshops to increase understanding, skills and performance on several key sustainability issues.

For 2022 SDF training workshops and webinars, please see our training page. (please note: workshop places are limited to companies directly involved with delivering the SDF)

Smart Motorways Programme Alliance (SMP Alliance)

The Smart Motorways Alliance brings together Fluor, WSP, Jacobs Engineering, Costain, Balfour Beatty, and Bam Nuttall/Morgan Sindall Joint Venture to design and deliver a smart motorway programme over a 10 year period.

The framework will enable the industry to put greater emphasis on standardised design, transform productivity and decrease overall costs.

The Supply Chain School is supporting the Alliance and its suppliers / sub-contractors with training workshops and webinars to increase understanding, skills and performance on several key sustainability issues.

For 2022 SMA training workshops and webinars, please see our training page. (please note: workshop places are limited to companies directly involved with delivering the SMA)

Lower Thames Crossing (LTC)

The Lower Thames Crossing is the most ambitious road scheme since the M25, linking Kent, Thurrock and Essex and will consist of:

  • Approximately 14.5 miles (23km) of new roads connecting the tunnel to the existing road network
  • Connection between the A2/M2, A13 and M25
  • New structures and changes to existing ones (including bridges, buildings, tunnel entrances, viaducts and utilities such as electricity pylons) along the length of the new road
  • Two 2.5-mile (4km) tunnels, one for southbound traffic, one for northbound traffic crossing beneath the river
  • A free-flow charging system, where drivers do not need to stop but pay remotely, similar to that at the Dartford Crossing

Find out more about the Lower Thames Crossing

Health, Safety and Wellbeing

The National Highways Supply Chain Safety Leadership Group was formed to give focus to improving safety performance across the National Highways road network through collaborative working across the supply chain where common risks exist and provide a unified voice of the sector.

The Supply Chain Safety Leadership Group’s vision is to create a very clear shift in safety performance to ensure everyone who works with us and everyone who travels on the network gets home safe and well.

The Group includes representatives from suppliers and provides safety leadership and clear strategic direction to the supplier community, overseeing the development and adoption of health, safety and wellbeing improvement activities throughout the National Highways supply chain. To find out more please visit this page 

National Highway’s “Home Safe and Well”  Strategy can be viewed here

Information is also available on how to sign up for the National Highways Passport. This is a scheme to demonstrate you have the training, experience and qualifications to work safely on any National Highways site Read More

As well as covering the issue of Wellbeing in depth, the Supply Chain School has a selection of resources on the subject of Health and Safety.

  • Health and Safety Executive – Working Time Regulations  Take a Look
  • Behavioural Safety with CECA    Get Started
  • Costain / Highways England Case Study: Improving the Safety of Roadside Engineers    Read Now
  • The Safe Use of Vehicles on Construction Sites    Take a Look 
  • Standardised Approach To Preventing Temporary Traffic Management Incursions   Read Now  – Balfour Beatty, in collaboration with the Highways Delivery Community, have created this guide. The scope of this document was to develop and share best practice on incursions and set a uniform, standard approach for highways projects to reduce the risk of incursions into work areas and establish a standard Safe System of Work.

More about our approach to Health, Safety and Wellbeing is available here.

National Highways Customer Service

At National Highways our customers are the people who use, or are affected by, our roads and services. We all have a part to play in delivering great customer service and improving our customers’ experiences.

Our vision is that our customers will have increasing satisfaction with their journeys. They will know that we care about their experience and consider us to be a responsible and trusted organisation.

We have set up a specific learning pathway focussing on key customer service topics for National Highways and our wider supply chain. This is available from your personal School account dashboard, and contains the following resources / e-learning modules:

For more information on any aspect of the School’s work to support National Highways, please contact: Andrew Wilson (0191 580 4005 / 07736 685588).