DfT's Steve Berry says 'we need a sector deal'

Dominic Browne

The Department for Transport (DfT) is working to develop a ‘sector deal’ including pin-pointing partnerships with industry on sector specific issues such as skills, supplies, R&D, collaboration and efficiencies.

Top officials aim to have the work ready in time for the expected Spending Review next year, a delayed announcement on medium-term funding positions, which due to the Brexit and parliamentary confusion was replaced this month with a one-year spending round stop gap.

Steve Berry (pictured speaking at Cold Comfort), head of local roads maintenance at the DfT, told the Local Council Roads Innovation Group (LCRIG) this month that ‘we need a sector deal’ and called for stakeholders to work with the DfT on the deal', particularly the Highways Term Maintenance Association (HTMA).

He said: ‘It is not easy. It is quite complex, there is a lot of work we have to do. Of course that means we have to work closely with colleagues across the sector. My own is view is that we need to work with private sector and highways authorities to actually gear up for what a sector deal means for everyone.

‘That is a piece of work we are starting in the department. We are going to be working very closely with private sector and local authority partners.

‘We will want to be working very closely with HTMA to align what a sector deal means for us. This work is very, very important. For private sector and public sector too. So please we will want to come and work with you on this.’

Challenge and Pinch Point

Mr Berry also discussed the nearly £350m for councils to improve local roads announced this summer under the Local Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund, £198m available for 2019/20 and 2020/21 and the Pinch Point Fund, a total of £150m available in 2021/22 and 2022/23.

He apologised for the competitive nature of the funds saying: ‘I know you don’t like competitions; we don’t really like competitions.’

Addressing the guidance that had been released with the Challenge Fund, Mr Berry said the DfT was looking for ‘resurfacing projects, bridges, slope stabilisation projects, improvements to drainage and gullies’ but highlighted drainage and bridges as two key areas for bids.

‘We are not doing street lighting as part of this Challenge Fund,’ he added, but highlighted there are other organisations and means of securing street lighting investment, which is generally regarded as having excellent returns. This includes the interest free loans from Salix.

He also said the DfT had worked to make the bidding process as simple as possible and now required a more basic business case and a reduced the level of information.

On the Pinch Point fund, Mr Berry revealed that the DfT ‘may be sending out some further guidance in the next few weeks after the initial proposals suggested sustainable transport schemes could be included in bids.

He said that Number 10 was 'quite keen to see how we can tie that in with bus priority provision and cycling and walking infrastructure’.

‘We have not had full instructions yet but the mood music is they would like to tie that in with other initiatives so that is something we will probably be sending out more guidance on in the next few weeks to authorities.’


Mr Berry also revealed that the DfT’s work with the UK Asset Management Board on developing a state of the nation asset assessment of the network, had yielded a draft report.

Highways previously reported that the work had become protracted due to the fragmented and inconsistent nature of the sector’s data.

‘Using the current data we have a big range as to what actually is the current backlog. Is it similar to the AIA’s [ALARM survey]? Quite similar but we want to narrow it down. So we have done a little more data gathering; a health check on footways and road markings. We are working with LCRIG and Gaist on that work now. The Treasury want a definitive number,’ Mr Berry said.

Mr Berry added that there was ‘consistent inconsistency’ on the issue and it was hard to define how the backlog should be measured.

Highways jobs

Collision Investigation Officer

Transport for Greater Manchester
£26,844.00 - £38,228.00 Per Annum
Are you excited by the opportunity to make a difference to the roads of Greater Manchester? Greater Manchester
Recruiter: Transport for Greater Manchester

2 x Environmental Health Officer (Food, Health & Safety)

Dacorum Borough Council
£31,218 to £39,786 (Inclusive of London Fringe Weighting) + Car Allowance   
Seeking to appoint 2 x fully qualified Environmental Health Officer’s to work within our... Hertfordshire
Recruiter: Dacorum Borough Council

Senior Traffic Engineer

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
£32.029 - £34.788
We seek an enthusiastic and experienced traffic engineer to manage our Traffic Team. East Riding of Yorkshire
Recruiter: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Head of Asset Management (Regeneration & Environment)

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
£55,856 - £59,773
We have a current vacancy for the role of Head of Asset Management, and we are looking for a dynamic individual to lead the service Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Recruiter: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Environmental Education Assistant

Brent Council
£22,779 - £24,030 p.a. inc. (pro-rata)
Looking for instructors who complement our enthusiastic, motivated and friendly staff team. Brent, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Brent Council

Structures Asset Manager

Kent County Council
£52,713 - £58,774 per annum (salary dependent on experience) 
If you have the ability to succeed in either of these roles and are able to prioritise competing demands and objectives, coupled with... Ashford, Kent
Recruiter: Kent County Council

Structures Senior Engineer

Kent County Council
Starting salary £33,082 per annum
Providing engineering support for maintenance of highway structures, liaising and working closely across KCC. Ashford, Kent
Recruiter: Kent County Council

Development Management Engineer

Warwickshire County Council
£37,849 - £39,782 per annum
The successful applicant for this post will be capable of taking the lead on work within the team associated with... Warwickshire
Recruiter: Warwickshire County Council

Permit Officer – Place

Enfield London Borough Council
£27,228 - £29,241
You will have the ability to understand and learn relevant legislation and be able to work on your own initiative but also work as part of... Enfield (London Borough), London (Greater)
Recruiter: Enfield London Borough Council

Senior Policy Planner

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£32,643 – £45,704 depending on skills
Are you looking for working arrangements that enhance your work-life balance? London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Community Services Manager

Copeland Borough Council
Competitive Salary
Looking for an energised and enthusiastic candidate to lead and focus the service through the challenges set by the Resources and Waste Strategy. Moresby, Whitehaven
Recruiter: Copeland Borough Council

Highways Infrastructure and Maintenance Manager - Highways Network

Bridgend County Borough Council
£37,813 - £40,760 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arrived inside the Highway Asset Maintenance Team within the Communities Directorate. Bridgend (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr)
Recruiter: Bridgend County Borough Council

Business Support Officers - Transport Team (2 Jobs)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £21,166
Within the Transport Team you will be required to work flexibly in accordance with the needs of the service, which can men... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Transportation Planning Manager

Brent Council
£55,638 - £58,779 p.a. inc.
ou will have an excellent knowledge and understanding of transport policy at both local and national level. Expertise of both people and... Wembley, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Brent Council

Commercial Contract Supervisor

Wirral Borough Council
£30,507 to £32,878
No holding back. No excuses. Just change Wirral. Wirral, Merseyside
Recruiter: Wirral Borough Council

Technical Officer – Pest Control

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £23,836
This job is temporary for up to 11 months from the date of appointment to cover the absence of the current post holder. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Divisional Director Neighbourhoods & Sustainability

Glasgow City Council
£83,708 - £95,232 (LDR3a, Grade 11)
This innovative role will contribute to the Council Strategic Plan Theme of A Sustainable Low Carbon City Glasgow, Glasgow City
Recruiter: Glasgow City Council

Principal Transport Manager

Be First
Competitive Salary
As our Principal Transport Manager, you will deliver the Local Implementation Plan, ensuring the £2.4million TFL budget is used effectively London (Central), London (Greater)
Recruiter: Be First

Highway Operations Manager

Croydon London Borough Council
£43,590 - £45,585
We are seeking an enthusiastic, motivated and well organised highway operations manager Croydon (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recruiter: Croydon London Borough Council

Structures and Watercourse Manager

Croydon London Borough Council
We are seeking an enthusiastic, motivated and well organised manager to look over the structures team and wider Highway section. Croydon (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recruiter: Croydon London Borough Council

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Valuing our roads: What is a network worth?

Also inside:

Traffex review 

Diary of a flood.

Beautiful roads

Live Labs exclusive briefing 

View the latest issue

Latest Video