Councils can plan how to spend their share of a £215 million fund for local road maintenance after funding allocations were published today (18 December 2012) by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.
The £215 million is part of a £333 million fund announced in the Chancellor’s ‘Autumn statement’ for essential maintenance to renew, repair and extend the life of roads in England. This funding is in addition to the £3 billion the government is already providing for councils in England between 2011 and 2015 for highways maintenance.
This maintenance funding could be used for improvements such as road resurfacing, maintenance to bridges or repairing damage to highway infrastructure caused by severe weather events, such as the recent flooding.
Patrick McLoughlin said:
This extra money will support economic growth and development by helping local authorities to get the best out of their local road networks.
This funding can be spent on measures to bring smoother, safer and more reliable journeys to the travelling public whether they are commuting to work or taking the children to school.
In order to help local residents see where this money has been spent it will be a condition of the funding that local authorities commit to publishing a short statement on their websites at the end of each financial year setting out what and where this additional funding has been spent.
Local authorities are also encouraged to look at the information published by the Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme which is leading the way by bringing together the public and private sectors to develop good practice and reduce costs.
Notes to editors:
The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced in the ‘Autumn statement’ on 5 December additional funding of £333 million for highways maintenance for both the motorway and trunk road and local road network.
£215 million additional capital funding will be provided to local highway authorities, including London, to help renew and repair the network in England. £140 million will come in 2013 to 2014, with the remaining £75 million following in 2014 to 2015. The funds will be distributed on the basis of the department’s existing highways maintenance capital funding formula. A full list of the allocations by region and local authority is available.
To be eligible for this additional funding and to promote greater transparency and accountability, the department will require local highway authorities to publish a brief note on their website by the end of each financial year (end of April 2014 and end of April 2015) on where (in terms of location) and how this additional funding was spent on highways maintenance. This is so local communities are able to see how this extra funding has been spent.
The Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme (HMEP) is a sector-led programme designed to maximise returns from highways investment and deliver efficient and effective services. HMEP provides practical guidance on highway maintenance efficiencies for local authorities, supplier organisations and representative bodies in the form of toolkits, case studies and good practice. The most recent of these, launched on 29 November, are the standard specification and asset management toolkit.