Cultural heritage asset management plans for Highways England
English roads are notorious for their poor condition and unevenness. However, this may change by 2040, as a wide-ranging retrofit of the Strategic Road Network (SRN) will have been completed to improve the environment and help the network fit more seamlessly with its surroundings. Environmental improvements such as for noise, carbon, flood risk management, water, landscape and biodiversity will be developed.
The SRN is split into 14 asset support contract (ASC) areas. For each ASC area, a cultural heritage asset management plan (CHAMP) is required by the Protocol for the Care of the Government Historic Estate. The plan involves detailed assessments, consultations with stakeholders, enactments of agreed actions, monitoring the results of those actions and monitoring the state of identified assets.
Highways England has a series of funds, including a £300-million environment designated fund (EDF), which is included as part of the roads investment strategy to deliver interventions on the SRN that go beyond business as usual. Service providers can apply for funding from the EDF for projects that align with the environment vision and improve the SRN’s environmental performance. RSK is responsible for conducting feasibility studies to qualify with Highways England for the first round of funding.
Since 2015, RSK has carried out work at various stages for multiple areas according to the requirements, scope and terminology set out in the ASC’s cultural heritage asset management plan. In 2017–19, RSK supported Kier Highways as a service provider to Highways England in delivering CHAMP feasibility assessments in ASC Area 9. In 2018–19, RSK was also appointed to undertake CHAMP summary assessments and feasibility desk studies for heritage assets in ASC Areas 6 and 8.