Types of Funding
Highway maintenance funding can be allocated from capital or revenue sources. Capital is primarily for improvements, such as new roads, or redesign such as additional lanes, new traffic information and control systems or structural renewal. Maintenance expenditure, mainly funded by revenue, covers repair of worn or damaged roads and facilities and can include both short-term patching or a permanent replacement. In addition to maintenance of the road surface itself, the maintenance budget also includes the cost of lighting, footway repair and cyclical maintenance such as cleaning and grass cutting.
Planned, preventative maintenance, which involves resurfacing at regular intervals, is the most cost effective method of keeping the road surface in good repair. The experience of the highway maintenance industry is that it is at least 20 times more expensive to continuously patch and mend than it is to undertake long lasting repairs. Ensuring that the highway network is durable, safe and fit for purpose is vital to avoid unnecessary traffic congestion and delays, and to make best use of existing assets.
Sources of funding
The main sources of funding are central government and local government.
Local roads make up 98 per cent of the country’s roads and their maintenance is the responsibility of local authorities. In England, council’s funding for maintenance comes from the Department of Transport, as well as other council funding sources.
The Strategic Road Network (SRN), which includes motorways and major trunk routes is the responsibility of the Highways England, with funding from central government.
More information on funding can also be found at: