Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)

Strategic roads efficiency benchmarking

Supervisor: Dr Phill Wheat


An opportunity has arisen to undertake a PhD in the field of Strategic Road Benchmarking, supported by the new Office for Rail and Road in Britain (ORR). The reform of strategic roads in England is an opportunity to develop a benchmarking framework for the sector and this PhD has potential to influence such a framework. ORR has indicated both supervision support and travel/subsistence expenses are available to assist the student.

This project is a unique opportunity to influence at the outset the benchmarking framework for the new Strategic Highways Company, Highways England. The proposed reforms to the current Highways Agency will mean Government setting out a Road Investment Strategy, giving funding certainty for a 5 year period and delegating more decisions to Highways England, which should result in much more customer responsive and cost effective delivery. As part of the reforms there is a recognition that with increased autonomy comes the need for independent monitoring and oversight, and so a new unit (within the ORR) will be formed. Part of the activities of the Roads unit will be to ensure the investment plans of Highways England are delivered with value for money. As such a range of efficiency benchmarking techniques will be needed to support this work. The PhD will support this development through use of innovative econometric techniques in cost benchmarking.

Please contact Dr Wheat for more details.

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