New road repair fund announced
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Today (17 November 2023), Transport Secretary Mark Harper has set out the allocations of an £8.3 billion long-term plan, one of the key cornerstones of the government’s Network North proposal.
Across England, local highway authorities will receive £150 million this financial year, followed by a further £150 million for 2024/2025, with the rest of the funding allocated through to 2034.
Sue Percy CBE, Chief Executive, CIHT said:
“CIHT welcomes this announcement as everyone depends on the UK’s network of local highways; they are at the heart of our communities and these arteries of our country need to be invested in to ensure fitness to compete in the global economy.”
“Despite the efforts of central and local government, the local highway network (LHN) is not in a good state and not up to the job of supporting the country’s ambitions for the future. We hope that this funding will go some way to help alleviate some of these problems.”
“Whilst we welcome this announcement, CIHT believe that this will not fully address the funding requirement and the ageing of the asset will continue to create more challenges. Without a new strategy, the LHN cannot help businesses to increase productivity, realise their economic opportunities and deliver what the nation needs for a sustainable future.”
“This announcement is a clear response to our ongoing call for the government to provide the vision and certainty for the sector on highways and transportation projects and programmes.”
The government has announced that each local authority can use its share of the £8.3 billion to identify what local roads are in most need of repair and deliver immediate improvements for communities and residents. This is divided as:
Matthew Lugg OBE, Past President, CIHT and Director of Local Transport, WSP said:
“This significant additional funding over 10 years creates the opportunity for local highway authorities to move from the current very reactive approach (just fixing potholes) to having the ability to be more proactive in their application. This could facilitate the welcome move to effective longer-term solutions including reconstruction and resurfacing schemes, the application of a more strategic (and targeted) asset management approach and the ability to spread the funding across all highway assets groups such as footways, structures etc. “
Sue Percy CBE, Chief Executive, CIHT said:
“Our previous recommendations have included the need to establish a new inflation-linked local highways fund (on top of the current funding); creation of an improved system of monitoring and a national condition database.”
“CIHT believe that through the recommendations outlined in ‘Improving Local Highways’, we can show how the highway network will support the delivery of a carbon-neutral system, create sustainable, green, resilient, and accessible places, make transport healthier, and help the economy grow. CIHT believe these recommendations should be used by Government as they consider the Autumn Statement in relation to the local highway network and the key role that it plays.”
The full report and supporting research is available here and a copy is available here CIHT - Improving Local Highways - the route to a better future.pdf
Recommendations from Improving Local Highways
CIHT proposes four key recommendations to the UK government that will create a vision, funding and a focus on the Local Highway Network (LHN) over the next ten years.
Recommendation 1: Create a new focus for the LHN
Recommendation 2: Commit to establishing an inflation-linked local highways fund
Recommendation 3: Create a better understanding of the asset through improved data
Recommendation 4: Establish new sources of funding to support the local highways fund
About the project
'Improving Local Highways' was the culmination of a two-year research project that analysed the state of local highways and explored new solutions to funding, resource and maintenance challenges identified. Contributors were drawn from a wide range across highways and transportation and included representatives from the public and private sector.
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