Incentive fund

In December 2014, the Secretary of State for Transport announced that £6 billion will be made available between 2015/16 and 2020/21 for local highways maintenance capital funding. In November 2015 a further £250 million was announced for a dedicated Pothole Action Fund.

From this funding, £578 million has been set aside for an Incentive Fund scheme, to reward councils who demonstrate they're delivering value for money in carrying out cost effective improvements.

Each local highway authority in England (excluding London) is invited to complete an annual self-assessment questionnaire, in order to establish their share of the Incentive fund they will be eligible for between 2015/16 and 2020/21.

The Department for Transport has made it clear that local authorities aren't competing with each other for funding, but are demonstrating that efficiency measures are being pursued in order to receive their full share of the funding.

The incentive funding awarded to each local highway authority will be based on their score in this questionnaire, and will be relative to the amount currently received through the needs-based funding formula.

Incentive Fund banding
Year 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2019/20 2019/20 2020/21
Band 1 100% 90% 60% 30% 10% 0%
Band2 100% 100% 90% 70% 50% 30%
Band3 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

Each authority scores themselves against 22 questions, and place themselves into one of 3 bands on the basis of the available evidence. From 2017/18 authorities in Band 3 will receive their full 100% share of the £578 million, whilst authorities in Band 1 and 2 will receive a reduced percentage of their share. These percentages for Bands 1 and 2 decrease in each subsequent year, with only authorities in Band 3 being awarded their full share of the funding.

The questions are designed to enable authorities to assess their progress on the journey to the implementation of good practice, which will create an environment for effective and efficient delivery and enable capital funding to maximise its return. Underpinning this are the needs of stakeholders and the communication of the importance of the highway service and the needs for well-maintained highways.

Each authority needs to complete each of the 22 questions.

Highway assets

The 2004 County Surveyors' Society Framework for Highway Asset Management definition is:

  • "Asset Management is a strategic approach that identifies the optimal allocation of resources for the management, operation, preservation and enhancement of the highway infrastructure to meet the needs of current and future customers."

More simply, it is knowing all about our assets and using that information to plan and prioritise how we look after them. To do this efficiently and effectively and to provide best value for money we need to know:

  • What type of asset is it, for example, road, bridge, street light?
  • Where is the asset located?
  • Why is it there, how does it assist the network management and operation?
  • When will it need to be inspected, maintained or replaced?
  • How long will it last? How much will it cost to replace or repair, now and over its life?
  • Who will is responsible for it and who will be carrying out any necessary work?
Highway assets managed by Kirklees Council
Major asset group Asset element Asset quantity Asset unit
Highways Carriageways
  A roads 210 km
  B and C classified roads 240 km
  Unclassified roads 1450 km
  Total 2333 km
Highways Footways and cycleways
  Primary walking route 29 km
  Secondary walking route 65 km
  Link footways 76 km
  Local access footways 2129 km
  Cycleways 34 km
  Total 2333 km
Urban Traffic Management and Control (UTMC) Traffic signal installations
  Traffic signal junctions 132 No.
  Puffin crossing 90 No.
  Toucan crossing 3 No.
  Wig Wag 2 No.
  Total 227 No.
Structures Bridges and other highway structures
  Bridges (>1.50m span) 212 No.
  Tunnel 1 No.
  Retaining wall (estimate) 400 No.
  Footbridge 215 No.
  Culverts (> 1.50m span) 94 No.
  Subway 8 No.
  Other structures (mast arm, sign gantries etc.) 11 No.
  Other structures (>1.50m span) with partial liability (i.e. 3rd party bridges/culverts carrying adopted highways) 143 No.
  Total 1084 No.
Street lighting
  Lighting columns 50213 No.
  Illuminated bollards 2075 No.
  Illuminated signs 5466 No.
  Zebra crossing 432 No.
  Feeder pillars 251 No.
  Refuge island beacons 285 No.
  Variable message signs 12 No.
  Subway units 85 No.
  Total 58805 No.
Other asset group
  Highway drains (estimate) 250 km
  Highway gullies and connections 75653 No.
  Surface water pumping station 1 No.
  Highway trash grilles 60 No.
  Non-illuminated road signs Not measured
  Road restraint systems (crash barriers) Not measured
  Pedestrian guardrail Not measured
  Trees Not measured
  Verges 2,500,000 m2
Policies and procedures

This Highway Infrastructure Asset Management Policy and Strategy sets out how the Council will best manage the highway network taking into consideration customer needs, local priorities, asset condition and best use of available resources.

Policy outlining the winter maintenance service for Kirklees. This service is carried out in order to allow all road users to move about as safely as possible and to help minimise the disruptive effect of severe weather.

The Highway Maintenance Plan sets out the operational requirements to maintain the network and identifies the resource requirements to deliver the maintenance service.

Levels of service

Levels of service are one way in which the council can determine whether or not it is meeting customer expectations and it's statutory obligations in the delivery of its highways asset management service. They enable the council to

  • Ensure that operational activities actively support the achievement of the council's strategic goals
  • Determine if adequate focus is given to what is important to the customer
  • Evaluate priorities and value for money
  • Document and measure the service provided
Network safety
Aim
  • Asset management makes a positive contribution towards a safe network
  • Headline outcomes
  • Meeting users needs for safety
  • Complying with statutory obligations
  • Links with Council Vision
  • Great quality of life
  • Better health
  • Maximise the welfare of our residents
  • Links with New Council
  • People stay safe and well
  • Network serviceablity
    Aim
  • The performance of each asset in the highway contributes to meeting stakeholder expectations
  • Headline outcomes
  • Ensuring availability
  • Ensuring accessibility
  • Achieving integrity
  • Maintaining reliability
  • Resilience
  • Managing condition
  • Links with Council Vision
  • Thriving communities
  • Growing businesses
  • High prosperity
  • Links with New Council
  • Provide a consistent level of basic services meet community needs
  • Network sustainability
    Aim
  • Affordable management of the highway that with reduced impact on the environment
  • Headline outcomes
  • Minimising cost over time
  • Maximising the value of the economy
  • Maximising environmental contribution
  • Links with Council Vision
  • Strong sustainable economy
  • Innovative solutions
  • Links with New Council
  • Target limited resources as appropriate
  • Meet community needs
  • Customer service
    Aim
  • Best value
  • Local focus
  • Headline outcomes
  • Informed consulation
  • Levels of service
  • Information
  • Links with Council Vision
  • Thriving communities
  • Growing businesses
  • Links with New Council
  • Meet community needs
  • Performance and benchmarking

    In order to demonstrate continuous improvement, performance has to be continually measured and this is undertaken through performance indicators, standards and targets

    Communication

    There is a need for local engagement mechanisms to ensure the asset management approach is understood. Engaging with stakeholders to understand their needs and expectations provides the information needed to determine and review the service provided by highway infrastructure assets hence the asset management activities.

    Customer satisfaction

    We commission annual surveys of customer satisfaction and analyses trends to benchmark and diagnose performance and identify potential for improvement.

    Works programme

    We have a scheme prioritisation process for all major assets, aligned to the asset management strategy. A programme of works for all assets is approved for one to two years and looking forward there is an indicative programme for three to five years.

    Potholes

    In total, the government is spending a record £6.1 billion on local highways maintenance between 2015/16 and 2020/21, giving councils long-term certainty for the first time to plan future work with the aim of preventing potholes and improving local roads, bridges and street lighting.

    As part of this investment, the Pothole Action Fund will give local authorities in England £50 million a year to help them tackle more than 4 million potholes. Funding is calculated according to the size of the local road network in the area and the Kirklees allocation is £325,000 in 2016. Each year a summary report shows where this sum was invested.