The Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) has called on the Government to make sure that the maintenance of the local road network is sufficiently funded during next month’s comprehensive spending review.
The CIHT has highlighted the important role played by transport infrastructure in a letter to Government.
The local road network covers 98% of all roads and includes many roads which play a vital role in connecting to the strategic road network and which help maintain the regional and local businesses which are so critical to the national economy. The spending review provides an opportunity to recognise the value and importance of the local road network to the economy.
CIHT believes that local authorities need increased investment to address their highways maintenance backlog. Failure to address deteriorating assets will result in much higher costs to rectify the problems in the future.
The long-term cost of maintaining the network could be significantly reduced by taking forward intensive improvements to local roads.
CIHT highlighted the following issues of being key importance in ensuring that proper investment is made in the UK’s highway assets:
· The UK must develop a long-term transport infrastructure investment strategy. To achieve success the strategy must have cross-party agreement and look beyond the political cycle to a 20-year timeframe. CIHT believe that the strategy must identify new ways of financing the development of new and existing transport infrastructure across the UK.
· The proposed Department for Transport Feasibility Study on improving and maintaining the highway through the use of private sector funds creates the opportunity for a genuine debate on the future operation of the strategic road network in England. CIHT believe that any mechanism going forward must ensure that appropriate investment is put to both maintaining and improving the network.
· There is a general recognition and acceptance from all the main political parties on the need to invest in transport infrastructure and the benefits that flow from that investment. CIHT would like to see this translated into a positive response for the strategic and local road network and by extension for the wider economy in the next spending review.
A copy of the letter can be viewed on the CIHT website.