Department for Transport
The Department for Transport has published a new strategy explaining how local roads will benefit from a multi-billion-pound investment fund and the proposed creation of a major road network.
The strategy will be funded by reallocating some funds raised by the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), with the aim to improve connectivity of towns and cities across the country.
Its proposed creation of a new major road network would see a share of the annual National Road Fund, funded by VED, given to local authorities to improve or replace the most important A roads under their management.
To view the full report, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/624990/transport-investment-strategy-web.pdf
March 30, 2017
New skills survey calls to make the highways sector fit for the future
A survey by Highways UK into UK skills highlights that 71% of people working within the highways sector are concerned that staff shortages within their organisations could impact on the future delivery of client programmes. 61% of respondents to the survey expect their companies to decline opportunities to tender for work due to insufficient internal resources.
Writing in the report’s foreword, Tricia Hayes, the Department for Transport’s Director General for roads says: “Thanks to this survey, the highways sector knows where it needs to focus its efforts in detail. I am particularly struck by the need to tackle the lack of diversity. We have to do this if we are to access the full spectrum of talent that we need.”
The Highways UK skills survey was circulated widely to the memberships of ICE and CIHT and promoted extensively through the social media channels of Highways England and engineering recruitment specialist matchtech. The report can be downloaded at: http://www.highways-uk.com/content/huk/docs/hukskillssurvey-2017.pdf
March 28, 2017 – Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) Survey 2017
The Asphalt Industry Alliance’s (AIA) latest ALARM survey reports that that within the next five years one in six of our roads will need to be repaired, or even closed. The cumulative effect of an ageing network, decades of underfunding, increased traffic and wetter winters has led to around 17 per cent of all local roads reported as being in poor structural condition, with less than 5 years of life remaining.
The 22nd annual ALARM Survey ALARM also reports local authorities need over £12 billion to bring the network up to scratch – a figure that has remained largely unchanged for four years. The gap between the amount councils received and the amount they say they need to keep the carriageway in reasonable order is now almost £730 million.
Click here to download ALARM 2017
October 28, 2016
The UK Roads Liaison Group (UKRLG) has published an updated Code of Practice following a two year review.
‘Well-Managed Highways Infrastructure’ was commissioned by the Department for Transport with input from an extensive range of stakeholder organisations including the Institute for Highways Engineers, ADEPT, SCOTS, CIHT, Transport for London and CSS Wales.
The non-statutory Code offers updated advice to reflect the latest developments in the maintenance sector – reinforcing the strides made through the Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme (HMEP). It replaces three previous sets of guidance: Well-maintained Highways, Management of Highways Structures and Well-lit Highways, which will cease to be valid from October 2018.
The overarching principal behind the development of the new Code is the need to deliver a safe and well-maintained highway network through the adoption of an integrated asset management approach to highways infrastructure through risk-based assessment.
To view the full press release, please click here to be redirected to the UK Roads Liaison Group (UKRLG) website.
October 12, 2016
The Rees Jeffreys Road Fund publishes its report on A Major Road Network for England.
Report authors David Quarmby and Phil Carey set out that the Strategic Road Network (SRN) doesn’t comprise all the roads that matter in supporting England’s regional economies and supporting growth. They identify a further 3,800 miles of local authority-controlled ‘A’ roads, which, alongside the SRN, forms an 8,000 mile Major Road Network (MRN).
The report proposes a consistent, joined up approach to the planning, management and funding of the MRN on a regional basis, allowing local authority major roads to have a planning regime and funding certainty similar to that enjoyed by Highways England for the Strategic Road Network (SRN).
For more information on the report go to: www.futureroadsengland.org
October 11, 2016
Emission link with road condition
European research shows that smoother roads can reduce CO2 emissions from vehicles by around five per cent, highlighting the need for road maintenance to be part of any strategy to reduce road emissions.
The research was carried out by members of FEHRL (Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories). It adds weight to the call from FEHRL – along with EAPA (European Asphalt Pavement Association) and EUPAVE (European Concrete Paving Association) – for increased investment in roads and greater alignment of policies on CO2 with those for upgrading and maintenance of roads.
The findings show that the condition of the road surface directly influences vehicle fuel consumption: if the surface is in poor repair, fuel energy will be wasted. ‘Rolling losses’ include energy used in overcoming the effects of unevenness, joints and rutting through suspension systems and from high rolling resistance at the tyre/road interface. In addition, a road network which is allowed to deteriorate will also lead to higher road maintenance or reconstruction costs over the long term – contributing to further CO2 emissions.
To see the report in full click here.
August 31, 2016
Future plans announced for Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme
It is a period of change for the Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme (HMEP) as it is announced that responsibility for different aspects of the programme will be devolved to separate partners.
The asset management and procurement products HMEP has made freely available, for example, will be passed on to Local Partnerships (a joint venture between HM Treasury and the Local Government Association). In addition the National Highways and Transport Network – a subscriber-based, service improvement organisation best known for the NHT Public Satisfaction Survey – will take responsibility for HMEP’s Connect and Share resource.
HMEP documents will remain free to use and it is hoped the new system will present councils with even more support to present a coherent service to local highways authorities.
The ongoing HMEP ethos of ‘for the sector, by the sector’ will be maintained by drawing on the expertise of a range of stakeholders through a central steering group. The membership of that group is still being finalised but it is likely to include the DfT and representatives from local authorities, the private sector and professional industry bodies.
For more information go to www.highwaysefficiency.org.uk/