New plan maps our vision for the future


17 May 2023

We've published new proposals for England’s motorways and major A-roads today. They're part of our plans to connect the country and grow the economy in an environmentally sustainable way.

New plan maps our vision for the future of the Strategic Road Network

The Strategic Road Network Initial Report (SRNIR) for 2025-2030 contains our advice to government on priorities the next five years and beyond.

In future, our work is likely to focus increasingly on making the most of this existing network. Proactive maintenance and improvement will boost safety and journey reliability, in turn driving economic prosperity. We'll be:

  • making greater use of digital technologies
  • getting the network ready for connected and autonomous vehicles
  • encouraging active travel

The SRNIR also outlines the challenges facing our increasingly busy roads. Most motorways were built in the 1960s and 70s and now need extensive renewal.

At the same time, we need to maintain performance and safety levels in the face of increasingly severe weather.

The SRNIR will be subject to an eight-week consultation by the Department for Transport (DfT). This consultation will inform the development of DfT's draft Road Investment Strategy (RIS) for the third road period (2025 to 2030).

 Any decisions on our proposals will also be subject to decisions on levels of funding for the five-year period. These are yet to be finalised.

We're launching the SRNIR alongside a number of other plans that define how we'll face future challenges:

Connecting the Country - our long term strategic plan

Connecting the Country sets out our priorities for the network up to 2050. Our 2050 vision is that the Strategic Road Network (SRN) is part of a seamlessly-integrated transport system. This will meet our customers’ needs by connecting the country safely and reliably, delivering economic prosperity, social value and a thriving environment.

Route Strategies

Our twenty Route Strategies will help us:

  • develop and maintain a detailed evidence base on the performance of the network
  • identify current issues
  • understanding potential future challenges. 

Environmental Sustainability Strategy

Our new Environmental Sustainability Strategy gives our long-term vision for:

  • managing roads in a more sustainable way
  • ensuring our network can be used as a force for good.

Richard Holden, Roads Minister, said:

“Our roads are vital to our economy, and the plans set out today will help to enhance connectivity and boost growth, while protecting the environment. Working with National Highways, we are committed to delivering safe, reliable journeys and reducing congestion in a way supports our path to net zero.”

Nick Harris, National Highways’ Chief Executive, said:

“Our network of motorways and A-roads has a critical role to play over the next 30 years in supporting growth and levelling up. They bind together the regions and nations of the UK, facilitating national and international trade, and even under conservative forecasts demand for the network will continue to increase up to 2050.  

“While we strive to maintain safe and reliable journeys for the vehicles that rely on our network each day, we know that ever higher levels of social and environmental responsibility will, quite rightly, be required of us. This means we will need to find new and innovative ways to continue connecting the country by facilitating active travel and public transport, and also using digital technology to help customers make more informed decisions and managing our network more efficiently.”