Highways England is looking at cutting and delaying major road schemes in the Road Investment Strategy (RIS) in a bid to slash a predicted overspend of £800m.

In its latest review of Highways England’s performance, Highways Monitor: Update on Highways England’s capital planning and asset management, the Office of Road and Rail (ORR) looked at the progress of the agency’s review of projects under RIS in the period 2016-2020.

It said RIS schemes no longer considered value for money “are likely to be removed” whilst a number of others “will be reduced in size”.

“The revised baseline is also expected to include changes to the scope of a number of schemes and changes to the schedule of certain schemes,” it added.

ORR’s review of Highways England’s performance also revealed that it had failed to meet targets on road conditions due to a deterioration in skid resistance. It has asked the agency to demonstrate how it is managing any possible safety implications.

ORR also criticised the agency for failing to accurately report the true condition of its road surface, after submitting incomplete data for 2015-2016.

The report said: “It is now apparent that the percentage of road in good condition was 92.3% at the end of 2015-16, against a target of 95%.

"Highways England has acknowledged that it can improve its data reporting and assurance, and has committed to develop better processes. We will monitor this closely and take action if improvements are not delivered.”

Anthony Smith, chief executive at transport watchdog Transport Focus, said road users "will want to know that work to tackle congestion and improve safety will definitely still be delivered”, under the review.

He added that road users will also be “worried that the condition of Highways England’s roads is below the target set by the government. They’ll expect to see a clear plan to get surface quality heading in the right direction”.

Last year more than 70% of surveyed infrastructure providers said they weren't confident they could deliver vital road improvements.