Good design

Our panel of design experts put sustainability and climate change at the heart of future road design

Good design

Our Strategic Design Panel is tasked with challenging and supporting National Highways to improve the quality of England’s strategic road network (SRN).

The Strategic Design Panel’s role is to make sure that design excellence in landscape, engineering and built environment is considered in all of National Highways projects.

Good design is a powerful tool for achieving a higher quality of life, as well as greater economic vitality and a more efficient use of resources.

We aim to put people at the heart of our work by designing an inclusive, resilient and sustainable road network; appreciated for its usefulness but also its elegance, reflecting in its design the beauty of the natural, built and historic environment through which it passes, and enhancing it where possible.

To realise our design vision for the network, we have established a set of 10 principles in The road to good design that guide our work.

The Strategic Design Panel also supports us in improving the quality and appearance of the network. The Panel includes members from across a range of subjects who advise us on sustainable design.

Strategic Design Panel Report 4

The Strategic Design Panel has published its fourth progress and recommendations report.

This report sets out the Panel’s progress over the past year and a half (June 2019 to end of 2020) and makes key recommendations to take forward in the second road period.

Key recommendations

Road planning and design must accept the challenge to create a network resilient to climate change with an emphasis on sustainable design.

We should:

  • accelerate communication and training to promote and embed our design vision and principles into our processes and culture.
  • act on the Panel’s recommendations for adapting to climate change, reducing carbon, supporting biodiversity and the design of corridors.
  • publish a design strategy to clearly articulate its ambitions for the second road period and beyond.

Design Panel members

The Strategic Design Panel includes members from across a range of disciplines, representing stakeholders who are committed to improving the design and quality of the SRN.

  • Campaign for Better Transport
  • Transport Focus
  • Institution of Structural Engineers
  • Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation
  • Institution of Civil Engineers
  • National Trust
  • Landscape Institute
  • Connected Places Catapult
  • Royal Institute of British Architects
  • Design Council
  • Campaign to Protect Rural England
  • Historic England
  • Natural England

Further information

The road to good design: our vision and principles

Strategic Design Panel - progress report 4 (2021)

Strategic Design Panel - progress report 3 (2019)

Strategic Design Panel - progress report 2 (2018)

Strategic Design Panel - progress report (2017)