The Rees Jeffreys Road Fund commissioned in September 2014 a substantial two-year Study on ‘Major Roads for the Future’ in England. The Study was tasked with developing a long term vision – to 2040 – of the role and evolution of the major road network in England, taking account of an unusually broad range of factors appropriate to the long term timescale. The Rees Jeffreys Trustees intended that the Study should inform and influence policy-making in this Parliament and for the longer term.

The term 'major roads' was not meant to imply any particular definition of the network; an early task of the Study was to define the ‘network of interest’,;  it became clear this needed to include not just the Strategic Road Network for which Highways England is responsible, but also the most important local highway authority roads, those also considered to have a ‘strategic’ role. The focus of the Study has been the network in England, but account still needed to be taken of current and evolving plans and thinking in Wales and Scotland so far as they affect the contiguous networks.