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Road repairs (Northamptonshire)

Volume 507: debated on Monday 8 March 2010

The Humble Petition of members of Rushden, Northamptonshire and the surrounding areas,

Sheweth,

That the roads of Rushden are in a poor state and are desperately in need of repair; there are many potholes and these cause a hazard to drivers and pedestrians; they are dangerous for the vulnerable who have to cross the roads and risk causing much damage to vehicles and costing constituents large amounts of money during the recession; the roads are in a very bad condition and cannot cope with the current local population; action needs to be taken if they are to be able to cope with the planned expansion of north Northamptonshire

Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House urges the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to direct Northamptonshire County Council to take remedial action to repair the roads, thereby improving the situation for local residents.

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.—[Presented by Mr. Peter Bone, Official Report, 10 February 2010; Vol. 505, c. 1005.]

[P000731]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Transport:

Maintenance of the highways in Rushden is a matter for Northamptonshire County Council. It has a duty, under s41 of the Highways Act 1980, to maintain the highways in its charge. The Act does not specify standards to which highways should be maintained; this is a matter for each local highway authority, taking into account local priorities and resources. Local government democratic processes provide opportunities for the public to make their views known to the Council.

The Department for Transport encourages local highways authorities to develop Transport Asset Management Plans. These set out an inventory of the assets under the council’s control, the condition they are in, the service levels the council intends the assets to deliver, and their plans to maintain the assets so as to deliver that service. The Department also encourages authorities to adopt the good practice set out in the UK Roads Liaison Group’s code of practice for highways maintenance management, “Well-maintained Highways” (available from: www.ukroadsliaisongroup.org). The code is not mandatory, but together with complementary codes on highways structures and street lighting, provides good practice advice across the whole range of maintenance activities.

Over the decade 2001-02 to 2010-11, the Department has provided £82.829 million in capital funding for highways maintenance to Northamptonshire County Council, as part of the Local Transport Plan settlement. In addition, the Council can also apply Revenue Support Grant provision from the Department for Communities and Local Government, and their own resources such as Council Tax or Supported Borrowing, to the maintenance of their highways’ assets.