By Paul Fleetham, Managing Director, Tarmac Contracting
The findings from this year’s ALARM Survey provide another timely reminder of the ‘perfect storm’ of funding, traffic and resource challenges facing councils when maintaining local roads in England and Wales.
Many local authorities in England are operating highways maintenance budgets that have fallen by up to 16 per cent since last year. The estimated one-time cost to get roads in England and Wales back into a reasonable condition is £11.8 billion.
It would take 14-years to clear the road maintenance backlog in England and 16 years in London – a surprising statistic for a city with so much new major transport infrastructure currently under construction.
Despite this challenging backdrop, the research indicates that many councils have made real progress in embracing asset management – a key requirement for them to secure additional funding from the Department for Transport by 2016/17.
Developing Highways Asset Management Plans (HAMPS) in partnership with contractors is helping them to make informed decisions about how, when and where budgets are spent. But it’s important that they now build on this work in preparation for 2018/19. That’s when all local authorities must demonstrate they are delivering higher levels of asset management and unlocking efficiencies in order to maintain their current levels of funding.
Highways contractors, consultants and materials providers have a clear responsibility to help clients with this challenge.
Read the ALARM survey here.