The Department for Transport (DfT) have recently announced the Maintenance Challenge Fund. The purpose of the fund is to enable local highway authorities in England to bid for major maintenance projects that are otherwise difficult to fund through the usual formula needs element allocations they receive from government.
This tranche of the challenge fund will be available for 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021, with a total of Â£198 million on offer. Local authorities will be able to bid for projects that will carry out improvements to the quality of roads and surrounding infrastructure, including bridges and viaducts, to benefit the local economy and make driving safer.
Highway assets have an optimal operational lifespan, after which they deteriorate. It is clear that some of this country's existing highway assets may now be moving to more costly stages of their natural life-cycle with some components already reaching the end of their serviceable life. In addition to the natural ageing process of highway infrastructure, the life-cycle of the asset has in places deteriorated at a faster rate than perhaps originally envisaged, sometimes as a result of past under-investment, as well as severe weather events which have compounded the problems.
The roads network is a vital lifeline which needs to be enhanced and maintained. The government is committed to upgrading and renewing local road infrastructure so, through the challenge fund, it is encouraging local authorities to invest in these roads and make journeys safer.
Kirklees Council have put forward two bids:
- A joint bid with Calderdale for the resurfacing and drainage improvements on the A62 Leeds Road between Bradley lights and Cooper Bridge Roundabout and the Stabilization of A6024 Woodhead Road at Holme Moss
- The worst top 10 unclassified roads within the Kirklees district.
- Highways maintenance funding: incentive element
- Incentive fund summary submission: January 2019
- Incentive fund summary submission: January 2018
- Incentive fund summary submission: January 2017
- Incentive fund summary submission: January 2016
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% Band 2 100% 100% 90% 70% 50% 30% Band 3 100% 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.
National Productivity Investment Fund
The Government's Autumn Statement 2016 announced a new National Productivity Investment Fund to provide £23 billion of additional spending, ensuring the UK's economy is fit for the future. The fund will provide major additional spending in areas that are key to boosting productivity: transport, digital communications, research and development, and housing.
The Department for Transport has allocated a grant from the National Productivity Investment Fund for local highway and other local transport improvements which aim to:
- reduce congestion at key locations
- upgrade or improve the maintenance of local highway assets
- improve access to employment and housing
- develop economic and job creation opportunities
The funding allocated to each local highway authority in England outside London in 2017/18 is based on a formula using data provided by each authority regarding the assets for which they are responsible.
We have worked with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to determine distribution of the grant which is in two broad areas and totals £0.97m for schemes to be implemented through Kirklees highways.
£0.134m to supplement the Integrated Transport grant programme. Within Kirklees this benefits:
- Cycling, walking and safer roads scheme programmes
£0.836m for additional schemes that satisfy the funding guidelines. Within Kirklees this benefits:
- Flood Management - drainage improvements to reduce delay and disruption
- Traffic signal works to improve network efficiency
- Road surfacing on roads that give access to employment, housing and town centre shopping, particularly at:
- Parkside / Bradford Road, Cleckheaton
- Commercial Road, Skelmanthorpe, Huddersfield
- Morley Lane, Milnsbridge, Huddersfield
- Fartown Green Road, Fartown, Huddersfield
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
Highways, Carriageways Asset element Asset quantity, Kilometres A roads 210 B and C classified roads 240 Unclassified roads 1450 Total 1900 Highways, footways and cycleways Asset element Asset quantity, kilometres Primary walking route 29 Secondary walking route 65 Link footways 76 Local access footways 2129 Cycleways 34 Total 2333 Urban Traffic Management and Control (UTMC) Asset element Asset quantity Traffic signal junctions 132 Puffin crossing 90 Toucan crossing 3 Wig Wag 2 Total 227 Structures Asset element Asset quantity Bridges, with a span greater than 1.5 metres 212 Tunnel 1 Retaining wall, estimate 400 Footbridge 215 Culverts, with a span greater than 1.5 metres 94 Subway 8 Other structures, mast arm, sign gantries etc. 11 Other structures, with a span greater than 1.5 metres, with partial liability i.e. 3rd party bridges or culverts carrying adopted highways 143 Total 1084 Street lighting Asset element Asset quantity Lighting columns 50213 Illuminated bollards 2075 Illuminated signs 5466 Zebra crossings 432 Feeder pillars 251 Refuge island beacons 285 Variable message signs 12 Subway units 85 Total 58805 Other asset group Asset element Asset quantity Highway drains, estimate 250 kilometres Highway gullies and connections 75653 Surface water pumping station 1 Highway trash grilles 60 Non-illuminated road signs Not measured Road restraining systems, crash barriers Not measured Pedestrian guardrail Not measured Trees Not measured Verges 2500000 metre squared
Policies and procedures
- Highway asset management policy and strategy
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.
- Winter maintenance service policy
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.
- Highway maintenance plan
The Highway Maintenance Plan sets out the operational requirements to maintain the network and identifies the resource requirements to deliver the maintenance service.
- Highway asset management policy and strategy
Levels of service
Levels of service are one way in which the council can determine if it is meeting customer expectations and its 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 Headline outcomes Links with Council Vision Links with We're Kirklees
- Asset management makes a positive contribution towards a safe network
- Meeting users needs for safety
- Complying with statutory obligations
- Great quality of life
- Better health
- Maximising the welfare of our residents
- People stay safe and well
Network serviceability Aim Headline outcomes Links with Council Vision Links with We're Kirklees
- The performance of each asset in the highway contributes to meeting stakeholder expectations
- Ensuring availability
- Ensuring accessibility
- Achieving integrity
- Maintaining reliability
- Managing condition
- Thriving communities
- Growing businesses
- High prosperity
- Provide a consistent level of basic services to meet community needs
Network sustainability Aim Headline outcomes Links with Council Vision Links with We're Kirklees
- Affordable management of the highway that with reduced impact on the environment
- Minimising cost over time
- Maximising the value of the economy
- Maximising environmental contribution
- Strong sustainable economy
- Innovative solutions
- Target limited resources as appropriate
- Meet community needs
Customer service Aim Headline outcomes Links with Council Vision Links with We're Kirklees
- Best value
- Local focus
- Informed consultation
- Levels of service
- Thriving communities
- Growing businesses
- 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
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.
- Summary of Benchmarking Kirklees NHT Survey Report 2018
- Summary of Kirklees NHT Survey Report 2018
- Detail of Kirklees NHT Survey Report 2017
- Summary of Kirklees NHT Survey Report 2017
- Detail of Kirklees NHT Survey Report 2016
- Summary of Kirklees NHT Survey Report 2016
- Detail of Kirklees NHT Survey Report 2015
- Summary of Kirklees NHT Survey Report 2015
We commission annual surveys of customer satisfaction and analyses trends to benchmark and diagnose performance and identify potential for improvement.
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.
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 an average £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 was £941,000 in 2018/19. Each year a summary report shows where this sum was invested.
In the Budget 2018 the Chancellor announced £420 million additional capital funding in 2018/19 for Highway Authorities to tackle potholes, repair damaged roads, and invest in keeping bridges open and safe.
The Kirklees allocation was £2,711,000. It was a condition of the funding that it was used by the end of March 2019. The additional funding was allocated where condition surveys show the greatest need and that was to our Local Community Roads (the unclassified road network).