asked Her Majesty's Government:
What assessment they have made of the carbon footprint of different methods of road surface repair, including methods that incorporate road preservation techniques; and what advice they have issued to local government on the basis of this assessment; and [HL4989]
What proportion of local authorities' budgets for road maintenance are recommended for allocation to road preservation. [HL5019]
Her Majesty's Government provide local authorities in England (outside London) with funding support for capital highway maintenance 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 its allocations are spent, in line with its priorities. Funding in London is a matter for the mayor.
Her Majesty’s Government have not undertaken any specific assessment of the greenhouse gas emissions created by road repairs in England each year, or of the carbon footprint of different repair techniques, and therefore have not issued advice to local government.
The UK Roads Board, which brings together representatives of national and local government engaged in highways maintenance, has published Well-maintained Highways, a code of practice for highways maintenance which the Department for Transport endorses. The code, which can be found at www.ukroadsliaisongroup.org, recommends that highways authorities should prepare and adopt a policy for sustainable development in highways maintenance, and that materials, products and treatments adopted for highways maintenance schemes should routinely be appraised for environmental contribution and for wider issues of sustainability.
The Highways Agency is about to commence a dialogue with the British Board of Agrément to see whether carbon footprint information might be included under the Highways Authority Product Approval Scheme (HAPAS), which is sponsored by the agency and local highway authority bodies involved in best practice for highway design and maintenance.