Announcement of Extra Funding

On 13 January the DfT announced that it would be making available £1.2 billion to maintain and improve local roads and make them safer.


DfT also announced that they would be undertaking a new innovative trial, working in partnership with Thurrock Council, York City Council and the private sector, to help identify and manage potholes.


The announcement also included support for plans for a new motorway junction on the M11, near Harlow in Essex to help to ensure the delivery of 15,000 homes and support continued growth in the local economy. The new junction, to be known as Junction 7A, will sit to the north of Harlow, and will cut several minutes from journeys to Stansted and Cambridge.


The £1.2billion for 2017/18 will consist of the following:


·         £210 million of new money from the National Productivity Investment Fund announced in the Autumn Statement when the Chancellor committed to invest an extra £1.3bn improving the road network over the course of the Parliament. From this, £185 million will be allocated to local highway authorities in England, outside London, to improve local highways and public transport networks. The remaining £25 million is being made available for local highway authorities to improve the safety of the most dangerous A roads;


·         £801 million of existing local highways maintenance funding to be shared across local highway authorities in England, outside London, to help improve the condition of local roads;


·         £70 million of existing funding to be shared across local highway authorities in England, outside London, from the Pothole Action Fund which will help repair over 1.3 million potholes;


·         £75 million from existing funding which makes up Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund, inviting local highway authorities in England, outside London, to compete for funding to help repair and maintain local highway infrastructure, such as bridges, lighting and rural roads.


·         £75 million from the existing Highways Maintenance Incentive Element which invites local highway authorities to complete a self-assessment questionnaire in order to reward those who demonstrate they truly understand the value of their asset.


  • Announcement sets out exactly what each relevant local authority will get in 2017/18 to maintain their highways to help prevent potholes and improve local roads.
  • For Combined Authorities or those with elected Mayors the allocations announced are the totals for each Combined or Mayoral authority.

    £210 million – National Productivity Investment Fund


  • Today announcing individual local highway authority allocations from £185 million of new funding as announced in the Autumn Statement.


  • This funding will be for local highway authorities to improve local highways and public transport networks.


  • This funding is in addition to the £801 million for 2017/18 we have already committed and in addition to the £70 million funding in 2017/18 being shared across authorities in England, outside London, from the Pothole Action Fund.


  • We are also inviting those local authorities responsible for the 50 highest risk A road sections[1], as outlined in the document we are also publishing today, to submit proposals to improve the safety of those road sections. £25 million is being made available in 2017/18 as part of the Safer Roads Fund, which totals £175m of new funding between 2017/18 and 2020/21.


    £75 million - Challenge Fund


  • The second round of the local highways maintenance Challenge Fund will make £75 million available to local authorities in England, outside London, in 2017/18 to repair roads and renew/upgrade other key local highway assets.


  • This Fund will allow authorities to submit bids to help bring our local highway infrastructure up to modern standards. Bids could include:


    • Resurfacing of roads which local highway authorities see as a key priority – this could include rural roads;
    • Improve and introduce smarter street lighting which is more energy efficient and reduces light pollution;
    • Maintenance of bridge, tunnels or other structures, such as retaining walls.


  • This Fund will provide authorities with additional funding over and above what they are already receiving for local highways maintenance. It is expected that this round will help to fund up to 10 larger schemes.


    £75 million - Incentive Funding Element


  • Announcing the second round of the Incentive Funding Element for 2017/18.


  • This will reward councils who are getting the ‘best bang for their buck’ and ensuring local roads are maintained at the right time.


  • Important that they understand when to undertake maintenance to ensure good value for money for the taxpayer.


  • As an example – you would not wait for your house to fall down or your car engine to stop running before undertaking repairs. Important that councils also undertake repairs at the right time to the road network to reduce costly and more disruptive repairs in the future.


  • This follows on from the first round held in 2016/17.


  • It will be for local highway authorities to complete a number of questions to deem what Band they fall within and how much additional funding from the £75 million they will receive.


    Innovation – Pothole Spotter

  • The Department for Transport has also announced a trial with Thurrock Council and York Council in which we will trail the use of HD Cameras on refuse collection vehicles and possibly on some buses also.


  • This trial is aimed at significantly improving road safety by revolutionising the way potholes are identified and managed.


  • The trial will explore the use of high definition remote monitoring to allow for accurate and more frequent surveying of the local road network.


  • The trial will provide an opportunity to explore and understand the deterioration of the local road network over time.


  • The trial is also expected to identify wider efficiencies in how councils manage their highways maintenance service.


  • It is expected that by using the data, Councils will be able to respond to dangerous defects across the network more quickly and should also see over time a reduction in the number of compensation claims being received. This will be a further saving for councils at a time of constrained resources.



[1] Based on analysis by the Road Safety Foundation

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