During last year’s Capital bidding round, Highways, Transportation and Waste submitted a bid for £31m to fund the resolution of 177 unfunded highway maintenance issues. This bid was separate to maintenance backlogs reported in Kent County Council’s Asset Management Strategy documents. The £31m bid related to a range of sites and issues that highway teams had identified had failed or will fail and which represented a significant safety or other risk to the business and are therefore being monitored. Funding of £7.52m for the highest priority 27 sites (high risk issues requiring intervention in the very short term) was approved and included in the capital budget, £3.495m for four sites in 2018/19, £2.925m for thirteen sites in 2019/20 and £1.1m for ten sites in 2020/21.
The £2.925m allocated for 2019/20 includes £2.5m for the major renewal and strengthening of the A28 in Thanet, principally the section between Birchington and Margate, and that is the subject of this key decision.
The A28 is an ‘Other Strategic’ road in our highway maintenance hierarchy. It also forms part of our Resilient Highway Network, the portion of our 5,400-mile road network that is considered to be absolutely vital to maintaining economic activity and access to key services during extreme weather emergencies and other major incidents. It is also likely to form part of the new Major Road Network that the Department for Transport has recently consulted on. (The MRN will be a new category of road between Highway England’s Strategic Road Network and Local Authorities’ local roads and this is being set up to put these important roads on a similar investment/improvement planning footing as motorways and trunk roads from 2021/22. Local Authorities will continue to be responsible for maintaining these roads and any funding streams are unlikely to be used for maintenance save major structural renewal.) This road is also a key link between the channel ports and Manston in respect of interim lorry parking arrangements. In short, this road is vital to the economy of East Kent.
As part of our regular mechanical condition surveys and safety inspections, we have identified that the existing road surface on the A28 between Birchington and Margate is nearing the end of its serviceable life. There are also signs of structural weakness in places. Most of these serious defects are not obvious to untrained eyes that tend to focus on pothole formation.
The main risk if left untreated is that the road surface will quickly deteriorate and need regular and numerous pothole repairs. In our professional judgement, we are very close to that eventuality now, and if allowed to occur would have a significant negative effect on the local economy as this is the only main road link into north Thanet from the west.
The road surface needs to be renewed throughout and, in some places, deeper strengthening repairs will be needed. We plan to deliver these works from April 2019 to avoid the summer holiday season. There are no commissioning implications relating to this decision as these works will be delivered under our recently awarded Road Asset Renewal Contract with Eurovia. There are also no planning or compulsory purchase aspects to this work.
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Division affected: Birchington & Rural; Margate;
Notice of proposed decision first published: 20/11/2018
Decision due: Not before 19th Dec 2018 by Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste
Reason: In order that the proposed decision can be published for a minimum of 28 days. in accordance with statutory requirements
Lead member: Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste
Lead director: Simon Jones
Department: Growth, Environment & Transport
Contact: Alan Casson, Strategic Asset Manager 03000413563 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01622 221896.
The decision was considered and endorsed at the Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee on 28 November 2018.
Financial implications: Funding of £2.5m was allocated for the A28 works during last year’s capital funding cycle and is therefore included in 2019/20 of the Medium-Term Financial Plan.
Legal implications: None
Equalities implications: None