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Highways Local

The Highways Local initiative has been very popular with members since it was introduced in 2012. It provides a good way for involving members in the prioritisation of local works, and has offered funding opportunities for works that would not have otherwise been possible given budget constraints. The focus this year is on providing the basics through a safety-led maintenance approach in order to keep local highways in as good condition as possible.

  • Highways Local provides £30k per member, of which £10k must be spent on maintenance work
  • Members must engage with their local Highways Manager and determine their Highways Local requests by the end of May 2016

Contributions to capital schemes

Members can endorse capital schemes (e.g. resurfacing, road safety, drainage) to show their commitment to their communities and to ensure it goes ahead in-year.

Carriageway / footway patching (small resurfacing) schemes

Highways Local can address unsightly or worn out looking roads. This directly contributes to improving network condition, reduces the burden on the capital structural maintenance programme and helps meet local demand for schemes.

Average costs are in the region of £6,000 per day for 250sq.m.

Minor works

These cover a broad range of works to keep the network 'fit for purpose' or to enhance it in subtle ways. For example:

  • drainage repairs to improve future resilience to communities
  • re-pointing of retaining walls to maintain and improve appearance
  • dropped kerbs to improve crossing points for pedestrians

Winter & Environmental maintenance top-up

Members can purchase items or extra services to help communities to help themselves and improve on the basic highway service we provide.

  • Items:
    • hand salt spreaders - £200
    • grit bins - £200

Extra services:

  • weed spraying
  • tree planting

The Lengthsman scheme

We recognise the value of reacting to community needs on basic highway & PROW activities and the positive working relationships it fosters between members and parishes.

Members can purchase additional lengthsman resource at £2,500 per week (£500 per day).

Can allocations be used on new Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) such as speed limits and parking restrictions?

Yes - but only as a contribution to the new TRO Programme and if the scheme satisfies the TRO Priority Assessment Process and complies with National / Council Policy or Guidance notes. Members are reminded that new TROs require significant amounts of design work, public consultations and legal work, all of which result in longer delivery timescales (18 to 24 months in many cases).

What is the new 'TRO Programme'?

The Council has allocated £100,000 to a new TRO Programme (we haven't had a budget for TROs since 2010). Please refer to the separate briefing note: Traffic Regulation Orders Programme.

Is there a suspension on requesting new parking (waiting restriction) TROs?

The Council's Parking Team is currently preparing a new TRO to consolidate all existing waiting restriction TROs in the County. This work is necessary to standardise all TROs to use similar terminology and place under a single Order. The new TRO is scheduled for November/December 2016 and as a result of the changes it will not be possible to start the legal proceedings of any new parking related TROs before then, but this does not prevent us carrying out the preceding stages of informal and statutory consultation.

Can allocations be used on new road safety measure such as Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS) and traffic calming features (e.g. humps & cushions)?

Yes - so long as the scheme satisfies the Priority Assessment Process and complies with National / Council Policy or Guidance notes. Like TROs, some traffic calming features require significant amounts of design work, public consultations and legal work (Traffic Calming Notices) and can result in longer delivery timescales.

What is the best use of the allocation?

By far the most successful Highways Local schemes have been the minor works and patching schemes that can be easily delivered using Amey's internal gangs from the depots. These have better assurance of in-year delivery and directly add value toward improving the network and reducing deterioration of our road and footway network.

How soon do I need to decide on my local priorities?

By the end of May. On occasions getting agreement on schemes has not occurred until the autumn leaving only a few months to deliver. Members should bear in mind the challenge for Officers to deliver Highways Local - in 2015/16 there were over 300 schemes across 53 members. Many schemes had high political interest as well as the added difficulties of managing expectations of residents and parishes.

How will I know what progress is being made?

Progress reports will be sent by individual member's monthly emails.
The report covers the list of schemes, their status and construction dates known at that point in time.

Can members use their allocation in areas outside their current division?

Yes - with agreement of the other member whose division they will be spending their allocation in, and as long as there is clear link back to the community in the member's current division.

Can allocations be used to support a community group that is applying for 'Highways - Your Way' match funding bid?

Yes - members can make a contribution to the 'Highways - Your Way' bid. For example; a parish council funds £5k, GCC match funds with £5k, and members then add in their contribution.

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