Highways England Routes to Market: 21st Century Highways

Constructing Excellence

Leading edge and innovative solution

Highways England have developed a leading procurement model known as Routes to Market which makes them an ideal candidate for client of the year.  It is a progressive and innovative procurement solution based on the principles of Project 13 that promote collaboration, innovation and best practice project delivery. It includes the design and delivery of SMART motorways through an Alliance and upgrades to significant stretches of the arterial road network in England and Wales. An Alliance enterprise model and delivery and design frameworks with local presence has been procured to improve performance against Highways England’s strategic imperatives of safety, customer and delivery of the Road Investment Strategy to contribute to the wider Government vision for the future of transport infrastructure to create a road network fit for the 21st century.

Constructing Excellence

The Routes to Market solution demonstrates that Highways England stand out as the Client of the Year as it has procured a major innovative procurement vehicle to deliver over £20 billion of road investment over the next 10 years.  Routes to market will achieve the following for Highways England:


  • Providing better safety,
  • Providing more efficient delivery and delivering major programmes of road improvements,
  • Highways England and the providers developing their expertise and experience enhancing delivery and operation of the completed road network.
  • Utilising a programmatic approach that encourages standardisation of smart motorway products and efficient delivery of work.
  • Providing improved service to customers, and
  • Promoting an open, collaborative, innovative culture between partners.

Constructing Excellence

What makes Routes to Market different?

Highways England, the designers and the delivery teams collaborate are afforded the ability to receive significant rewards for high performance and exceptional delivery as they

  • Form a Production Hub function that drives integrated programme planning, standard policies and process  technology enhancements , colocation and collaboration, and access to the best people in the Alliance;
  • Form a Digitally-Enabled Design function, which is a centralised function that develops standardised design for use across all site assembly/construction areas, supporting efficiency objectives.
  • Form an On-site Assembly and Delivery function, providing construction management, standardised delivery of schemes in collaboration with the supply chain .

Constructing Excellence

The geographic structure of the Regional Investment Programme (RIP) and existing Major Projects governance arrangements has created a model that enables the following:

    • Highways England in a Network Owner capacity to develop regional delivery teams and develop localised supply chain communities;
    • Creation of Regional Centres of Excellence, supported by Sustainable Improvement hubs to drive innovation, knowledge share and improved productivity;
    • Commercial framework: Developing a contracting environment that improves control and incentivises the supply chain to deliver in line with predetermined Highways England outcomes.

Key achievements

  • Highways England were able to secure its supply chain long term and align objectives
  • An alliance model with the opportunity for regional delivery using traditional contracting opens the market to all sizes of contractor
  • A model to deliver unprecedented investment in the roads network has been established