Department for Transport Capital Funding
The Department for Transport (DfT) provides capital funding for highway maintenance using a needs based formula. The formula determines the maintenance grant for each local authority. It is based on the assets for which they are responsible. This block grant is the main source of funding for local authorities. Further details of the grant and how it's allocated can be found on the Local transport capital funding page on the Gov.uk website.
The DfT sometimes provides additional maintenance funding through other mechanisms. Some of these funding streams, such as the Pothole Action Fund, are based on the needs based formula. Others are competitive bidding processes. Local highway authorities can bid for major maintenance projects that are difficult to fund through the standard grant funding.
Pothole Action Fund
In 2015 Government announced a £250 million Pothole Action Fund for all local authorities over a 5 year period. Funding is calculated according to the size of each local highway authority's road network and allocated on an annual basis. Hampshire County Council's allocation on average totals £2.123 million each year. We use our allocation to supplement an extensive reactive and preventative programme.
Planned preventative treatments such as surface dressing, micro asphalt and asphalt preservations are cost effective solutions undertaken to prevent potholes forming and to prolong the life of the carriageway through early intervention. These treatments are an essential element of our maintenance strategy and significant levels of funding have been invested accordingly. Over the last 3 years the average spend on the preventative maintenance programme is approximately £7.4 million per year.
However, there will always be defects on the network that require reactive works to ensure safety on the network is maintained. To ensure these defects are dealt with as quickly and effectively as possible, Hampshire have invested in two Dragon Patchers. This innovative technology can repair defects five times faster than traditional methods and is effective in all weathers as it’s able to heat and dry a frozen or wet road surface before repairing it.