To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure best practice from local authorities in maintaining roads.
8 September 2021
Local highway authorities, including Herefordshire County Council, have a duty under Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980 to maintain the highways network in their area. Local highways teams, including private contractors, are accountable to the local authority they are working for. The Department for Transport is not routinely informed of the detailed breakdown of spend on the local highway network, as authorities are best placed to understand how to maintain their respective networks, based on local needs and priorities.
The Department has regular meetings with the UK Roads Liaison Group, Local Government Association and Association of Directors, for Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport. In addition, the Department endorses 'Well-managed highway infrastructure the Code of Practice for highway maintenance’ by the UK Roads Liaison Group.
This guidance takes an integrated, risked based approach to managing highway infrastructure. The Department also worked with the Association of Directors, for Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport to publish ‘Potholes: a repair guide’ which guide offers practical advice to highway authorities.
Of course, well-planned maintenance to prevent potholes and other defects forming on the roads is vital. Councils that do this well get better value for every pound spent and improve their customer satisfaction. So, from 2016/17, this Government introduced an incentive element and a self-assessment questionnaire to help encourage local highway authorities to manage their road networks better and achieve greater efficiencies.