Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

Department for Transport written question – answered on 28th February 2022.

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Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he has taken to implement the recommendations made in the Tenth Report of the Transport Select Committee, Session 2017–19, entitled Local roads funding and maintenance: filling the gap, HC 1486, and accepted by the Government in its response to that report; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the potential merits of 5-year budgets for local roads maintenance to enable planned asset management and achieve better value for money.

Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what guidance he has issued to (a) Herefordshire Council and (b) other local authorities on current best practice in local roads maintenance to achieve better outcomes and better value for money.

Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department issues national guidance to local authorities on best practice to enable the public to better report local road defects.

Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of whether local highways responsibilities are placed at the right level.

Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of using low carbon warm mix asphalt to repair local roads to help ensure the roads reopen quicker after repair.

Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of issuing guidance to local authorities on the use of longer lasting road surfacing materials in order to lower lifecycle costs.

Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of local authorities accessing prudential borrowing to reduce the time taken to carry out local road maintenance; and whether he has had discussions with the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on the use of prudential borrowing for that purpose.

Photo of Trudy Harrison Trudy Harrison Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

As announced in the October 2021 Spending Review, the Government is investing over £2.7 billion over the next three years for local highway maintenance in England, outside London, in places not receiving City Region Settlements. This includes those places’ share of the £500 million per annum Pothole Fund announced at Budget 2020.

The three-year funding settlement will help local highway authorities plan effectively for managing their highways assets, from tackling potholes to repairing bridges and other asset defects across their local road networks.

The Department for Transport encourages good practice in local highway maintenance for all local highway authorities and endorses the UK Roads Liaison Group’s Code of Practice on Well Managed Highway Infrastructure.

As part of the Incentive Element, the Department requires local highway authorities to provide an online portal for members of the public to report potholes and other highway defects.

The Department is funding three projects specifically aimed at reducing carbon by using sustainable materials through the Live Labs programme, a £22.9 million research programme.

It is for each local authority to decide how best to maintain their local highways assets.

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