County Council agrees new strategy for highways maintenance management

Hampshire County Council has developed a Highway Network Recovery Strategy for the continued effective management of highway maintenance services while overcoming the challenges of the impacts of Climate Change, the COVID-19 pandemic and long-term under-investment in local roads maintenance by successive Governments

Mar 11 2022

In agreeing the strategy at his public decision meeting (10 March 2022), Councillor Rob Humby, the County Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Lead Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said: “The condition of our roads affects all users including cyclists, pedestrians and bus passengers as well as cars, motorcyclists and freight vehicles and it is crucial that the importance of maintaining the local road network is properly recognised – especially when taking account of the fact that 90% of all journeys in Hampshire are made on this network.

“We have been highlighting the deteriorating condition of our road network in the county for some considerable time now. National funding from Government for local road repairs and maintenance has fallen significantly in real terms and much of the local network, particularly in rural areas, is in a state of accelerating decline. I know that local authorities up and down the country are in the same position and I have repeatedly lobbied Government for more funding. 

“More than a decade ago, this Council allocated an additional investment of £10 million a year to Operation Resilience, our established programme to make roads more resilient to the impacts of bad weather and heavy traffic. Furthermore, the County Council recently agreed additional annual funding of £7 million for highways maintenance from 1 April 2022.  However, despite this local investment our funding is still far short of what we really need to reverse the declining state of repair on our county roads. The Highway Network Recovery Strategy demonstrates how we have looked carefully at our highways service priorities and determined how the available resources can be deployed in the most effective way to keep Hampshire’s roads in a serviceable condition.” 

The full decision report, together with the Highway Network Recovery Strategy can be read online, on the County Council’s website:  https://democracy.hants.gov.uk/documents/s91769/Report.pdf