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Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

Volume 464: debated on Monday 8 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many programmed road surface repairs there are. (156419)

This information is not held centrally for local roads. Highway maintenance on local roads in England is the responsibility of each local highways authority. All local highway authorities have been encouraged to produce asset management plans for their roads. These will consist of inventories of stock, its existing condition, and target condition based upon desired service levels. This information will assist local highway authorities to programme their road surface repairs.

The Department has also endorsed “Well maintained highways”, the code of practice for highway maintenance produced by the UK Roads Board. The document which can be found at provides best practice guidance on the programming of highway maintenance.

The Highways Agency are responsible for highway maintenance on the strategic road network in England. Their programme is sub-divided into significant renewal schemes and small works. Both types of programme may fluctuate, depending on the overall state of network assets and in-year urgency for tackling unexpected deterioration. The condition target for the strategic road network is measured by a road surface condition index. This target has been met since it was introduced in 2004-05.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment she has made of the likelihood of achieving the 2010 target for eliminating the road maintenance backlog. (156421)

The National Road Maintenance Condition Survey for 2005 showed that the 10 Year Plan interim target to halt carriageway deterioration by 2004 had been achieved. We have encouraged local authorities to produce asset management plans for local roads. As more of these become available we expect to gain a better understanding of the investment required to bring local road conditions up to the appropriate operational standards.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of local authorities’ budgets for road maintenance are required to be allocated to road preservation. (156422)

The Department for Transport provides local authorities in England (outside London) with funding support for capital highway maintenance funding for investment in their network, including its structures and street lighting. Revenue funding provided through the Revenue Support Grant (RSG) may also be used for highway maintenance. Neither funding is ring fenced. It is for each local authority to determine how their allocations are spent, in line with their priorities. Funding in London is a matter for the mayor.