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Information on your highways.

Footway condition within Gloucestershire 

The footway and cycleway asset is extensive.  Footways are categorised in line with “Well Maintained Highways” and we hold detailed and accurate information about high category footways which are those which carry the highest volumes of pedestrian traffic.  As with most rural authorities, relatively little is known about the remaining footway network although since 2012 we have undertaken an FNS (footway network survey) on 1,400km of this network. This provided us with inventory and condition data on about 45% of the total footway network.

As funding allows, this work will continue this work until the entire footway network is captured. Footways and cycleways are categorised by hierarchy as follows:

Feature

Hierarchy

Category

Description

Network Length (km)

 

Footway

1a

Prestige

Very busy areas of towns and cities with high public space and streetscene contribution

7

 

 

1

Primary

Busy urban shopping and business areas

15

High Category

2

Secondary

Medium usage routes through local areas, feeding into primary routes, local shopping areas, schools etc. Routes that experience large variations in footfall due to tourism, sporting events etc

132

Footways

3

Link

Busy rural footways and urban footways that link a number of local access footways

350

 

4

Local Access

Low use footways, residential streets, cul-de-sac's etc

3069*

5

Minor

Little use rural footways that may serve a very limited number of properties

2*

Feature

Hierarchy

Category

Description

Network Length (km)

 

Cycle routes

A

On Cwy

Marked cycle lane forming part of the carriageway

67*

 

 

B

Off carriageway &

Remote - Segregated or

Unsegregated 

Cycle lane forming part of shared use footway either adjacent to the carriageway or remote. Can be segregated or unsegregated.

165*

 

As well as footways and cycletracks which are attached to the carriageway asset, i.e. footways alongside roads, there is also a significant length of network which is remote from the carriageway, e.g. through housing estates. These are much more difficult to quantify and relatively little is known about these routes.

There are also footways which are privately owned and for which we are not usually responsible for their maintenance.

The footway / cycleway network grows as new developments are built. Maintaining the condition of the footway and cycleway network is a continuous activity although their lifecycles do tend to be longer than that of carriageways due to them not being subject to traffic loading.  Nevertheless, a clear understanding of the condition of the network is vital in directing maintenance activity to areas of the network where maintenance is most required.

Prioritisation of schemes

Schemes are prioritised by the Capital Structural Maintenance Team. The condition of the footway and cycleway network is mostly assessed through highway safety inspections which are carried out on an annual, quarterly or monthly basis depending on the hierarchy of the route.  These identify safety defects on routes but also provide information about the general condition. The capital programme for these networks is therefore also heavily influenced by local area highway teams balancing the needs of the communities and the current condition of the asset.

Schemes are prioritised by the Capital Infrastructure (Bridge Team) using three categories:

  • Safety and functionality
  • Location of the structure (i.e. is it on the resilience network)
  • Benefits and disbenefits
  • Socio-economic and environmental

Safety and functionality relate to our primary responsibility under the Highways Act 1980 to maintain the highway so that it is safe to use and fit for purpose. This should reflect the risk and consequence to the user of not repairing the defect. This carries the most weighting out of the three categories.

The benefits and disbenefits relate to doing an item of work now or postponing it to a later date. This takes into account the cost to the road user as well as to the authority. We look at the implications of delaying works in terms of increased works costs in the future due to worsening of condition, and the knock-on effect to the road user where disruption to the network is extended.

Page updated: 18/10/2021 Page updated by: GCC

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