Penshaw Monument in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear. View from Herrington Country Park

Roadside heritage to be more visible under National Highways plans

Image: Penshaw Monument in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear. View from Herrington Country Park

National Highways has shared its long-term plans to make heritage sites and cultural heritage assets more visible from major roads

The heritage assets passed by drivers on England’s motorways and major roads will be easier for drivers to spot in future, if news plans go ahead.

National Highways, the government-owned company operating motorways and major A roads in England, has outlined its plans to both fund and make more visible the cultural heritage which boarder the highways.

The plans were shared as part of its Environmental Sustainability Strategy.

From next year, National Highways has committed to improve opportunities for road users to experience and learn about cultural heritage in the landscape they are passing through.

And in 2025 it plans to implement more funded heritage asset improvement projects, and make available more knowledge about managing heritage assets.

In the same year, it plans to fund improvement works for heritage assets which are currently inaccessible.

In its strategy document, it says it plans to “identify opportunities to improve the condition of cultural heritage assets on our road network, with the aim of achieving at least ‘adequate’ condition, and to improve access to these assets where appropriate.

It will include Historical Railways Estate assets in its approach to managing cultural heritage.

Among the projects it has undertaken is the restoration of the Grade 1 listed Penshaw Monument which is visible from the A19, in partnership with the National Trust.

The report said its ambition for cultural heritage assets is to “enhance inclusive access” where appropriate and enhance the driver’s experience by “providing information about the historic and cultural features of the landscapes and townscapes they travel through.”