Issue - meetings

17/00133 - Approach to Highways Asset Management

Meeting: 31/01/2018 - Environment & Transport Cabinet Committee (Item 64)

64 17/00133 - Highways Asset Management and Incentive Fund pdf icon PDF 128 KB

To consider and endorse, or make recommendations to the Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport & Waste, on the proposed adoption and publication of Developing our Approach to Asset Management in Highways - 2018/19 – 2020/21 to maximise Incentive Fund resource.

Additional documents:


Roger Wilkin (Director of Highways, Transportation and Waste), Andrew Loosemore (Head of Highways Asset Management) and Alan Casson (Senior Asset Manager) were in attendance for this item.


  1. Mr M Whiting (Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste) introduced the report that set out the County Council’s work towards achieving a Band 3 Incentive Fund rating in order to avoid a reduction in capital funding for highway maintenance provided by the Department for Transport. The adoption of the updated strategy would provide an evidence base to help Kent secure an Incentive Fund allocation of £4.6m in 2018-19.


  1. Andrew Loosemore (Head of Highways Asset Management) said that a Task and Finish group was established to look at Kent County Council’s (KCC) approach to Highway Asset Management. He informed Members that the Incentive Fund was not additional money, the Government had changed its mechanism for allocating capital resource to local authorities for Highway Maintenance and the new process now depended on local authorities being able to evidence their work in order to secure the grant. In 2015-16 Kent County Council was a band 1 authority, KCC carried out substantial work to ensure this improved to a Band rating of 3 and the document, ‘Developing our Approach to Asset management in Highway – 2018/19 – 2010/21’, could maximise funding. 


  1. In response to questions the officer provided further information:


a.  Andrew Loosemore said that the £1bn figure was a projection on where KCC would be in ten years’ time in terms of road maintenance backlog if the current investment levels remained the same. By introducing a more detailed approach the document was able to describe the current condition of the asset groups, outcome the trends going forward based on current resource levels and then estimate the resource levels required in order to maintain assets in a steady state condition. He reminded Members that this was a national issue and that there was a £12bn backlog in road maintenance across England and Wales (excluding London).


b.  In relation to Members ‘concerns around maintenance of pavements due to mismanaged trees, Roger Wilkin said that this was a historical issue and when requests from developers were received to line streets with trees, the request was often negotiated due to the pressures they presented if not managed correctly.


c.   In response to street works, Roger Wilkin assured Members that utility companies managed a heavy workload and that all work should be carried out to a high standard. If that quality was compromised, appropriate action would be taken to ensure full rectification.



d.      Andrew Loosemore said that the soft estate did not hold any asset value in terms of Whole of Government Accounts’ methodology of understanding valuing highway assets. Some of the soft landscape was included within the land element which totalled £13bn. Members were informed that its inclusion within the figures was primarily for information purposes to give a complete picture of all assets that have to be maintained.


  1. Members commended work undertaken in relation to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 64