The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT) has commented on the Transport Select committee enquiry report ‘Local roads funding and maintenance: filling the gap’, released today (1st July).
Mark Stevens, Chair of ADEPT’s Engineering Board said: “As a contributor to the Transport Select Committee’s enquiry into Local Roads Funding and Governance, ADEPT welcomes the publication of the Committee’s findings.
“The report picks up on ADEPT’s observation that the current funding model for maintaining local highway infrastructure is ‘broken’. The severity of the winter of 2017/18 made it clear just how far the deterioration has gone, particularly on local roads, and anyone believing that they are improving overall is misguided in their thoughts.
“ADEPT will continue to work with the Department for Transport and the highways sector as a whole to build on the Transport Select Committee’s findings and ensure that there is a far better understanding of the severity of the situation.
“At the end of March 2019, the ‘Pothole – A Repair Guide’ was jointly published by ADEPT and the Department of Transport – a document that not only sets out how to best tackle potholes but explains fully how and why they form in the first place.
“A stable, long-term sizeable increase in funding for highway maintenance is critical if local highway authorities are to be able to provide a safe local road network. A five-year rolling programme of investment would be a start – doubling current levels of investment would see much of the backlog cleared in a decade.
“Without that, the challenges faced by cyclists will continue to worsen, bus companies will see their vehicles off the road more than they are on them, transport operators will find it increasingly difficult to deliver their goods and society as a whole will suffer from an inability to use a road network that is fit for use in the 21st Century. Every journey begins and ends on a local road but it will become increasingly harder to complete that journey with any degree of certainty without decisive action.
“We are at a tipping point. If significant steps are not taken now to correct the under-investment of the past, headlines about potholes will become even more commonplace than they are already.”
ADEPT is the voice of local authority county, unitary and metropolitan Strategic Place Directors across England with responsibility for the key place based services, including transport, environment, planning, economic development, housing and waste.