Prioritisation of highway maintenance needs
"I think my road needs resurfacing. When are you going to do it?"
"Why are you repairing that road and not mine? I think mine needs doing too."
As the authority responsible for maintaining the roads and footway network, we carry out planned road-works at selected locations throughout the county each year. Roadworks are identified and prioritised in the following way.
The network is organized into a hierarchy, based on traffic/pedestrian volumes and speed limits. All roads and footpaths are inspected at frequencies based on this hierarchy. The inspection frequencies are timed to allow any deterioration, due to normal wear-and-tear, to be identified in good time. Additional inspections are carried-out in response to a problem being reported.
As all defects can undermine the road or footpaths’ ability withstand heavy traffic, they are recorded to help to identify any future maintenance (schemes) and to deal with any immediate hazards. Some defects are obvious, but others would go unnoticed to the untrained eye, those that cause an immediate hazard are remedied promptly as part of day-to-day general repair activities.
Any potential scheme is then formally prioritised using a rating system and added to the rolling programme. Each year Hampshire County Council operates on the financial year April to April, when the funding becomes available, a number of schemes with the highest ratings which match the funding are moved onto the planned annual works programme. They are then carried out in that year.
Schemes not added to the planned annual works programme remain on the rolling programme. If subsequent inspections of these ‘scheme’ sites reveal additional defects the scheme may be re-rated and its priority changed accordingly.
Budgets traditionally dictate that we carry out about 800 schemes each year, costing approximately £20 million. However this represents only a small percentage of the total number of schemes on the rolling programme. The formalised rating system ensures that available funding is matched to sites that have the greatest need in a consistent, fair and cost-effective manner county-wide.