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08.04.16

Highways authorities to receive more funding for efficient management

The first recipients of road maintenance funding distributed on the basis of efficiency were announced today.

Highways authorities will receive £826m funding in 2016-17, of which £50m will be an incentive element to reward authorities who spend money efficiently.

By 2018-19, over a quarter of highways funding will be allocated on the basis of funding for performance.

In a speech at the Road Surface Treatments Association Conference, Andrew Jones MP, the minister for roads, said: “The motto that prevention is better than cure applies to our roads, just as much as anything else. And as a former Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources for my local council in Harrogate, I understand the pressures authorities are under.

“But I also understand that there’s scope for local authorities to improve their approach to maintaining their roads. To find efficiencies, and to invest money at the right time in these assets’ lifecycles.”

Local authorities in the south are receiving significantly more highways funding. For example, the north west of England, with a 7 million population, received £110m funding of which £6m was incentive funding, whereas the south west, with a population of 5 million, received £149m of which £9m was incentive funding.

Jones said that Durham and Lincolnshire, which received £666,000 and £370,000, were the highest performing highways authorities in the country and recommended that other authorities learn from their approach.

The full list of how much funding each local authority received is available here.

Local highways authorities only receive a third of highways funding for every kilometre, with the rest going to Highways England.

The news comes following the government’s announcement of £10m funding each year to fix potholes in local roads, despite the Local Government Association warning that funding would need to be 230 times greater to address the road repairs backlog.

Last year PSE interviewed Meg Booth, highways intelligence manager at Devon County Council, which received £2.3m funding, about the council’s updated procurement strategy for highways.

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