flood ahead

A report from the Climate Change Committee has raised concerns about the Highways Agency’s (HA) approach to boosting the resilience of the strategic road network (SRN) in the face of climate change, including events such as flooding.

Though the report acknowledged that the HA had “broadly identified the main vulnerability of the strategic road network” to climate change, it added that it had “yet to produce more detailed action plans”.

It also stressed that there was no publicly available information from the HA on spending plans to improve the resilience of the SRN and that its progress on implementing resilience measures was not currently reported in any way.

Responding to the report, a HA spokesman stressed it was taking action, pointing to a revised specification for drainage on new roads and refurbishment projects that would provide 20% more capacity. The use of different road surfacing where applicable to provide greater resilience to temperature fluctuations is also underway.

While the reporting procedures may not satisfy the Climate Change Committee, the HA’s approach to this could change as it completes the transition from government agency to government company, said the spokesman.

“The key thing is that we are doing it,” he added.