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Functions of the National Roads Authority The National Roads Authority (NRA) was established in 1994, as an independent statutory body under the Roads Act 1993. The NRA’s primary function is to secure the provision of a safe and efficient network of national roads. Its current programme of new road schemes forms part of the government’s overall strategy for the improvement of national infrastructure. More specific functions are prescribed by the 1993 Act, including the following: • preparing or arranging for the preparation of national road designs • securing the carrying out of construction, improvement and maintenance works on national roads • allocating and paying grants for national roads. Historically, the NRA has discharged its functions through the relevant local authorities (though it is also empowered to carry out such functions directly). Under Section 20 of the Roads Act 1993 the NRA has general power to direct a road authority (i.e. a local authority) to ‘do any other thing which arises out of or is consequential on or is necessary or expedient for the purposes of or would facilitate the construction or maintenance of a national road.’