Maintaining strategic infrastructure: roads - Public Accounts Committee Contents


The Department for Transport (the Department) and the Highways Agency (the Agency) are making progress in improving the way in which road maintenance is carried out, but more needs to be done. The Department's piecemeal and stop-go approach to funding for road maintenance in recent decades has made it difficult for highways authorities to deliver maintenance cost-effectively, with too much reactive work in response to flooding and other events and not enough focus on preventative work that is less expensive in the long-term. Too many highways authorities are not basing their road maintenance programmes on good information and planning. Public satisfaction with the condition of our roads is at the lowest level since the survey assessing confidence began. However, we recognise that the Department is seeking to make funding more stable and predictable, which should help highways authorities to plan maintenance works more effectively. The Department is working to promote consistent good practice in local road maintenance but performance still varies between authorities.

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Prepared 25 September 2014