Nick Harris has been named as the new chief executive of Highways England, which is being renamed National Highways.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced the name change wanting it to reflect a new era for strategic roads.
The Government is investing £27 billion into the strategic roads investment programme, while also continuing to set highways standards for the whole UK.
Harris will lead the organisation as it delivers the road building programme and looks towards the future opportunities offered by automation and digitisation as well as delivering the government’s net-zero target.
Highways England chair, Dipesh J Shah, said: “I am delighted to appoint Nick as our CEO. Now, more than ever, our infrastructure schemes have an important and perhaps unique role to play in helping our economy to recover.
“Nick’s steady hand throughout the last few months has established a solid foundation to help us on our journey to transform how we work with our supply chain, how we deliver our net zero carbon and how we realise our digitalisation ambitions.”
Harris joined Highways England in 2016 and has been acting chief executive since February 2021.
He will have a particular focus on continued road safety improvements and making National Highways a global leader in road building and maintenance, as well as delivering world class health and safety.
Harris said: “I am pleased to be taking up the reins at such an exciting time. We have achieved a great deal and there is still more to be done.
“As we deliver the second roads investment strategy ensuring the safety of all road users, the delivery of our work and the benefits to our customers remains at the centre of our organisation.”
Transport secretary Grant Shapps added: “Nick will be an excellent CEO and I’m looking forward to continuing to work closely with him as we build back better across the country.
“Nick will steer Highways England into an exciting new chapter, as it evolves into National Highways and delivers on our £27bn plan to improve our roads and make journeys safer, smoother and greener.”