Roads: Rural Areas

Department for Transport written question – answered on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Jonathan Lord Jonathan Lord Conservative, Woking

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he plans to take to improve the condition of rural roads.

Photo of George Freeman George Freeman Minister of State (Department for Transport)

The Government is providing over £6.6 billion of funding to local highway authorities for local highways maintenance in England, outside London, between 2015 and 2021 to help them tackle the condition of the local road network. Well-planned maintenance to prevent potholes and other defects forming on the roads is vital. Councils that do this well get better value for every pound spent and improve their customer satisfaction. So, from 2016/17, this Government introduced incentive funding to help encourage local highway authorities to manage their road networks better and achieve greater efficiencies.

Local highway authorities have a duty under Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980 to maintain the local highway network in their area. The Act does not set out specific standards of maintenance, as it is for each individual local highway authority to assess which parts of its network need repair based on its local knowledge and circumstances. In a rural area there will be many miles of roads so it is for each local highway authority to decide how to prioritise maintenance of its road network.

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