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Highway Maintenance

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About highway maintenance

The Borough of Poole is responsible for maintaining  500km (350 miles) the roads and pavements of adopted highway (technically known as carriageways and footways respectively).  

Maintaining the highway network involves assessing its condition, identifying problems and then prioritising and carrying out the most appropriate work within the budget available.

Highway maintenance can be considered in three main categories:

1. Routine cyclical maintenance

This involves routine work such as emptying road gullies, cleaning road signs and street lights or cutting highway grass verges.

2. General routine maintenance

This work is necessary as a result of the daily use of the highway.  This could include filling potholes, repairing damaged street furniture (e.g. fences, bollards, seats, etc.), repairing street lights, renewing road markings, investigating and repairing drainage problems.

To identify the work required, Highway Inspectors regularly assess all the roads in the Borough. Busier roads are inspected more frequently than less busy roads since the likelihood of wear, damage or potential mishap is greater.  Where the Inspectors identify problems which could affect safety, work is given urgent priority.

Issues on the highway develop daily and these may require urgent attention. If you see any problems on carriageways or footpaths please report them to us.

3. Structural Maintenance

Structural maintenance is the term used to describe the more significant work required to maintain the highways.  Highways deteriorate with both time and usage and eventually reach a point where major work is required.  Such work could be to the carriageway (e.g. overlays or reconstruction) as well as the kerbs and footways.

The nature and method of prioritisation of such schemes is important and this can be quite difficult when similar condition roads are competing for limited funding. The process is driven by using the results from independent surveys necessary for reporting Best Value Performance Indicators on highway condition.  Information from these independent surveys is assessed during April and schemes are developed in-house to produce an annual programme of structural maintenance works during May each year.

 

Highway Maintenance Works Increased in 2013 as a Result of additional funding from Government

In December 2012 the Transport Secretary announced provision of £215 million additional funding for road maintenance, The £215 million was part of a £333 million fund announced in the Chancellor’s 2012 ‘Autumn statement’ for essential maintenance to renew, repair and extend the life of roads in England.

The Borough of Poole was awarded £285,000 for the year 2013/14 and £145,000 for 2014/15

Following a number of severe winters, consisting of extensive snow, ice and latterly flooding, the condition of the highway network in Poole has suffered significant damage.  The extreme weather conditions have resulted in many roads showing accelerated deterioration with an associated increase in cracking and potholes.

This situation has placed enormous pressure on highway maintenance budgets at a time when austerity measures have been introduced across a whole range of Borough services. The revenue budgets for carriageway and footway repairs are under particular pressure from the additional volume of work required to keep the highway safe and serviceable. 

The 2013/14 allocation of funding was spent on:

Resurfacing of Bournemouth Road between North lodge Road and St Osmunds Road in October 2013

Extensive patching of Turbary Road, Cranborne Crescent, Thornecombe Close, Wavell Avenue, Orchard Avenue, Bingham Avenue

The 2014/15 allocation will be used to be surface dress a number of these roads, effectively sealing the roads from water ingress and extending their life by 10 – 15 years

While current levels of both capital and revenue funding for highway maintenance will inevitably see further overall deterioration of the network, the Government grant money over the two years has been most welcome and fully utilised in resurfacing and repair work that would not otherwise have been possible.

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