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Agenda item

Highways Update

To receive a presentation on major planned highways maintenance from Diane Ware (Head of Highways Asset Management & Commissioning).

 

Minutes:

Diane Ware (Head of Highways Asset Management & Commissioning) introduced herself to the meeting and gave a presentation on major planned highways maintenance. Ms Ware explained that the report included with the agenda was a draft version which was for review and comment. A final version would then come back to the board for approval in 2022. Once the plan was finalised it could be viewed online at Highways Asset Management - Wiltshire Council.

 

A continuous programme of surveying was underway throughout the whole county, utilising land rovers with specialist equipment to take measurements on the conditions of the roads. Last year all roads in the county were surveyed. The data generated enabled officers to determine if the road had structural faults or surface faults.

 

The officer explained that the funding model for roads had changed. Previously funds were allocated to each community area based on the kilometres of road in that community area.  This had now changed so that funds were proportioned based on how much maintenance was needed in each area, which was fairer and ensured that the roads in the poorest condition would be worked on.

 

Slides were shown to the meeting detailing the condition of roads by Area Board, some community areas were in worse than others and it was hoped that this would level out over the next 5 years.

 

It was explained than unfortunately highways works were not carbon neutral due the nature of the products used and where they came from. However, by intervening early and keeping roads in good condition for as long as possible, usually by treating them in order to preserve the top layer, to ensure they were not structurally damaged and required rebuilding, then this would help to reduce carbon costs. 

 

The quality of roads in Devizes at present was not ideal, ranked about fourth in the county in terms of maintenance needed, however the situation had improved. In the previous year there had been some big projects, which had taken most of the budget.

 

The officer explained that all the condition data was used to rank roads and gave them a scoring which was used to determine the order they should be worked on and the best type of scheme to use on certain roads. For example, surface dress it (tar and chips), a new surface course or dig it up and completely resurface. The officer would propose a program order to the area highway engineer for feedback and the order may change slightly. At this point for anything from 2023 – 2027 community input could make a difference to what was in the plan, so feedback was welcomed.

 

The officer had already slightly adjusted the plan based on Councillor’s feedback based on what they had heard from residents. The location of the road was also relevant, for example, was the road next to a school or hospital, the length of diversion routes involved and when works could be undertaken. The team had to carefully manage when works were undertaken and at what time of year.

 

The officer encouraged anyone who felt a road had been missed out of the plan to contact her on diane.ware@wiltshire.gov.uk. Although it was highlighted that to bring certain works forward, others would need to be pushed back.

 

In response to a query regarding a large pot hole, the officer stated that those sorts of issues should be reported online on the MyWilts app.

 

 

Supporting documents:

 

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