Issue - decisions
Structural Maintenance Programme 2016-17 to 2018/19
“Transport and the related infrastructure needed to provide safe, effective and efficient networks and services are crucial to everything the Council and its partners have pledged to achieve in the Wirral “2020 Vision” Plan.
Development of a three year programme is a key strand of our new approach to management of the network, looking at longer term asset maintenance needs, as is improving our overall management of our £1.9 Billion highway infrastructure so that we are able to secure Department for Transport Incentive Fund funding in addition to the core grant. I am pleased that we are also adding one million pounds from the Council’s own Capital Programme, approved in 2014/15, for the maintenance of unclassified and residential roads.
Our knowledge of the asset condition, based on condition surveys and feedback from residents and Councillors has enabled us to set out a detailed programme for the three years, for the continued national top-quartile condition of the network.”
Councillor Stuart Whittingham
Reason for Decision:
Investment in the maintenance of the highway network will enable the Council to comply with its statutory duty to maintain the highway. The establishment of a prioritised programme shows transparency with regard to the Councils addressing of highway elements in greatest need of maintenance, proper management of the allocated finances, and permits co-ordination of road roads with the utilities’ programmes of work.
Winter salting and freeze / thaw action has a detrimental effect on the condition of highway services, allowing further degradation due to the ingress of water.
(1) the acceptance of the Local Highways Maintenance Capital Block Funding (indicative £3,030,000) and Incentive Fund (indicative £165,000) for 2016/17, to be confirmed by DfT by 31 March 2016, be approved;
(2) the proposed allocation of the Local Highways Maintenance Capital Block 2016/17 to 2018/19 between Street Lighting, Bridges and Roads/Footways, be approved;
(3) the detailed Highway Structural Maintenance Programme for 2016/17 to 2018/19 outlined in the Appendix, be approved; and
(4) the Head of Environment and Regulation in conjunction with the Cabinet Portfolio Holder be authorised to make necessary adjustments to the programme should the need arise due to financial, condition or other factors.
Councillor Stuart Whittingham introduced a report, which stated that the Department for Transport (DfT) wrote to the Council in December 2014 setting out the indicative maintenance allocation within the Local Highways Maintenance Capital Block Funding 2016/17 to 2020/21. This included indicative funding for the Highways Maintenance Block for Wirral totalling £3,030 million for 2016/17, together with a further £165,000 from the DfT Incentive Fund. It was expected these amounts would be confirmed by the DfT by 31 March 2016.
The report presented both the proposed breakdown of that highway maintenance allocation between Bridges, Lighting and Roads/Footway elements of the network and also the proposed detailed Highway Structural Maintenance Programme 2016/17 to 2018/19, for approval.
The report also informed that the replacement of life-expired street lighting columns was the subject of a full condition survey to be carried out in 2016/17, as part of the feasibility study for further upgrading of lighting with LED lamps, and would be the subject of a separate application for funding from the Capital Programme for 2017/18 and beyond.
Cabinet noted that the Council’s Capital Programme and Financing 2016/19 report approved at the last meeting included a further £0.5million allocation for both 2016/17 and 2017/18 for highway maintenance improvements, funded from Council Resources, for unclassified / residential roads.
The report further informed that at Regeneration and Environment Policy and Performance Committee on 3 December 2014 it was resolved that long-term maintenance strategies should form the basis for development of future structural maintenance programmes for highway infrastructure. To fulfil this recommendation a three year programme had been developed and was detailed in the Appendix attached to the report.
The maintenance of highways is a statutory duty for the Council under the Highways Act 1980 (as amended).
This report was linked to the “Transport and Technology Infrastructure” Pledge of the Wirral 2020 Plan. Improvement and maintenance of the highway network also supports the “Vibrant Tourism Economy” and “Increase Inward Investment” Pledges in the Wirral Plan.
The matter affected all wards within the Borough and was therefore a key decision.