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Highways Infrastructure (Depreciation)

Volume 406: debated on Monday 9 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what account is taken within the Strategic Planning Framework for Highways Maintenance Expenditure for depreciation of highways infrastructure; and how much such expenditure was in the latest year for which figures are available. [118097]

For 2001–02, the latest year for which figures are available, the Highways Agency allowed £175,333,000 for depreciation of the trunk road network in England. This figure relates almost entirely to bridges and tunnels, as the roads themselves are depreciated on a renewals accounting basis; that is, the level of expenditure on maintenance is treated as a proxy for the depreciation charge on the asset. Further details are available in the Agency's Annual Report and Accounts 2001–02, copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House.Local highway authorities in England are not currently required to value their road assets nor to establish a basis on which to depreciate them. The total provision for local highway maintenance in the 10-Year-Plan is £30.5 billion, of which £9.2 billion is capital funding and £21.3 billion is revenue funding. This is linked to the Plan target of eliminating the backlogs in road maintenance by the end of the Plan period.