Expert advice will play pivotal role in new-look Historical Railways Estate
19 Apr 2022
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National Highways has unveiled a new method of managing the Historical Railways Estate (HRE)
We're strengthening our collaboration with experts from across the heritage, environmental and active travel sector.
The new process, agreed with government, means we'll only start work after our proposals have been assessed for:
- safety, ecological and heritage value
- potential future repurposing of structures
Our HRE team have spent months listening to various partners, groups and members of the public to help improve transparency and make the most of expertise in the field.
A Stakeholder Advisory Forum (SAF), made up of representatives from across the sector, will now play a key role in decision-making. It will allow interest groups and parties to engage with us through regular formal meetings.
Forum members will bring their expertise to the decisions we make on major structural works, covering aspects such as:
- ecological value
- heritage interest
- opportunities for active travel repurposing
They will also play a part in decisions to transfer structures to local authorities, as part of local plans.
National Highways head of HRE programme Hélène Rossiter said:
"We’re pleased to announce a new, collaborative way of managing work on the Historical Railways Estate.
“During the pause we worked closely with partners and stakeholders from across the heritage, environmental and active travel sector to understand how we can make our work more transparent and use their expertise to support our decision making. We set up a Stakeholder Advisory Forum (SAF) made up of representatives from across the sector to support the way we make decisions on projects, particularly those identified for infill or demolition.
“This new process ensures that work is only undertaken after it has passed a series of reviews focused on safety, ecological value, heritage value and potential future repurposing of structures. If we recommend infill or demolition, the Minister will review the proposal once it’s been discussed by the SAF.”
Find out more on our HRE pages, including the kind of structures we maintain and how we work with partners. We'll post more information on the Stakeholder Advisory Forum and our new ways of working here in the future.