The NRA engaged management consultants, PricewaterhouseCoopers, to review its arrangements for the implementation of the national roads programme and to make recommendations on the optimisation of these arrangements to secure further efficiencies in the implementation of the national roads programme and ensure value for money. The review has been submitted to my Department by the NRA. The contents and recommendations of the review are being considered in my Department.
The NRA, as an integral part of its approach to project appraisal and management, takes broader transport and environmental considerations fully into account in the planning and appraisal of road improvement projects. In particular the NRA has strengthened its arrangements for taking environmental considerations into account including the appointment of an environmental manager and archaeologists to the staff of the NRA; the inclusion of clear requirements in its project management guidelines relating to the identification and avoidance of environmental impact; and the publication of guidelines on the treatment of noise and vibration in road schemes and on ecological impact. Work is under way on further guidelines on environmental impact assessment, landscape mitigation, storm water run-off and water quality and waste management.