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House of Commons Hansard
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Disrepair (Felstead Road, Castle Point)
23 March 2010
Volume 508

The Petition of Mr. Kent Taylor, Mr. Lee Gardiner, residents of Castle Point and others,

Declares that the pavements and Felstead Road between the A13 and Bowers Road, Benfleet are in a state of disrepair; that in their current state, these present a real and immediate danger to local residents, especially the elderly and those with limited mobility, and have already been the cause of several accidents; further, that poorly maintained pavements disadvantage pedestrians, are unsightly and adversely affect local street scene; that for these and other valid reasons, residents call for the immediate repair and continued maintenance of the road and pavements since this is in the public interest.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to press the Borough Council, Essex County Council, the Highways Authority and all Councillors, to ensure the immediate repair and continued maintenance of Felstead Road, Benfleet.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Bob Spink, Official Report, 16 March 2010; Vol. 507, c. 848.]

[P000768]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Transport:

Felstead Road is a local road for which Essex County Council, as the local highway authority, is responsible for its maintenance and repair.

Local Highway Authorities, such as Essex County Council, have a duty under section 41 of the Highways Act 1980 to maintain the highways network in their area. This includes the pavements. It is for each individual authority to assess which parts of its network are in need of repair and what standards should be applied, based upon their local knowledge.

Central Government have no powers to override local decisions in these matters. However, this Department encourages good practice in highway maintenance through channels such as Well Maintained Highways, the code of practice for highway maintenance published in July 2005 by the UK Roads Liaison Group (available through TSO or www.ukroadsliaisongroup.org). The code advises local authorities to establish an inspection regime for their highways, and recommends inspection intervals for the various categories of highways.

Since the introduction of the Local Transport Plan settlement in 2001-02 DFT has more than doubled annual capital funding to local authorities across England (outside London) for maintaining local roads. Funding for 2009-10 is £735 million, up from £265 million in 2001-02. The funding central Government provide to local authorities for highway maintenance is not ring-fenced, and it is for each authority to decide how much is needed to maintain their network. The Government have also provided a total of £32 million to English local authorities to facilitate the production of Transport Asset Management Plans which should help authorities manage their roads, bridges and other highway assets.