The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) – independent monitor of National Highways – has today (24 February) held the first meeting of its new Road Expert Panel to provide advice and challenge to ORR to help improve outcomes for road users.

Since 2019, the Road Expert Panel has been supporting ORR by contributing expert insight on highways sector issues, supporting how ORR monitors and scrutinises National Highways’ performance and efficiency.

This has included input on a range of issues including National Highways’ asset management capability and delivery, planning for the next road investment strategy and National Highways’ net-zero carbon plan.

The Road Expert Panel also helps ORR understand the issues affecting the sector; good regulatory practice; the use of technology, including AI, autonomous vehicles, and digital roads; and issues related to climate change, the environment and biodiversity.

Four new members join four returning experts after a public recruitment campaign at the end of 2021.

The Panel will meet three or four times a year.

The next meeting will take place in March to consider ORR’s emerging key messages ahead of the publication of its Annual Assessment of National Highways in July.

Sneha Patel, Deputy Director of Highways, said:

“I am looking forward to working with our new Road Expert Panel members, who will provide challenge and expertise across multiple areas to help us to continue to effectively hold National Highways to account and deliver for road users, taxpayers and the wider community.”