More than 3,000 British road bridges substandard - RAC Foundation

10/03/2017
Highways Reporters

More than 3,000 council-maintained road bridges in Great Britain are substandard, according to research by the RAC Foundation.

It says analysis of data received from 199 of the 207 local highway authorities in England, Scotland and Wales found that 3,203 structures over 1.5m in span are not fit to carry the heaviest vehicles now seen on our roads, including lorries of up to 44 tonnes.

This means many of these bridges have weight restrictions. Others are under programmes of increased monitoring or even managed decline.

The Foundation has calculated that these 3,203 bridges represent 4.4% (about 1 in 23) of the roughly 72,000 bridges to be found on the local road network.

What's more, the number of substandard bridges is 35% greater than that estimated by the RAC Foundation to have been substandard two years earlier.

Nearly half (47%) of bridges in Slough were substandard, while the proportion was more than a third in Bristol, Croydon and Islington.

"If money was no object, then councils would ideally want to bring 2,110 of these back up to standard," the report says.  "However, budget restrictions mean councils only anticipate 416 of these will have the necessary work carried out on them within the next five years."

The report adds that the one-off cost of bringing all the substandard bridges back up to perfect condition would be around £890 million. This is the equivalent of £278,000 per structure.

The total cost of clearing the backlog of work on all bridges – including those that are substandard – is estimated at £3.9 billion, but that councils are currently spending just an eighth of that - an estimated £447 million - per year maintaining their entire bridge stock.

When the local authorities were asked what the biggest challenges they expected to face in the next 10 years in maintaining their bridges; “funding” and “skill shortages” were commonly cited.
Highways jobs

Principal Development Co-ordinator

Gloucestershire County Council
£33,799.00 - £38,813.00 + 12% MRS
Leading on the review of Major Development Proposals. Gloucester, Gloucestershire
Recruiter: Gloucestershire County Council

Highways Development Management (HDM) Manager

Gloucestershire County Council
£53,445.00 - £58,008.00 + MRS
To oversee all aspects of Highways Development Management from pre application discussions to road adoption. Gloucester, Gloucestershire
Recruiter: Gloucestershire County Council

Principal Development Engineer

Gloucestershire County Council
£33,799.00 - £38,813.00 + 12% MRS
You will be responsible for undertaking design audit of third party developer works under Section 38 and 278 of the Highways Act 1980. Gloucester, Gloucestershire
Recruiter: Gloucestershire County Council

Director of Environment

Southwark London Borough Council
Up to £136,000
A fairer future for all A fairer future for all Southwark, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Southwark London Borough Council

Director of Public Health

Southwark London Borough Council
Up to £136,000
A fairer future for all Southwark, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Southwark London Borough Council

Parks Development Officer

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£26,999 - £29,636 per annum
You will work with community groups, organisations, ward members, residents and colleagues in order to... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Commercial Business Development Manager - Trade Waste x1, Waste Disposal Contract x1

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£42,683 - £44,632
Are you an experienced and collaborative commercial manager with experience in waste services supporting public sector transformation and change? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Public Space Protection Enforcement Officer - 4 Jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 to £23,836
These posts are fixed term for 2 years due to funding. Looking to appoint at Grade 7.  Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Head of Infrastructure & Facilities

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
circa 100k
We are seeking a Head of Infrastructure & Facilities to lead the strategic management of the service in a unique and exciting opportunity for a... Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire
Recruiter: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Senior Professional and Technical Officer – Project Manager

Bristol City Council
£32,910 - £34,728
We are seeking to appoint a Project Manager, to work in the Transport Service, to help support the delivery of the above plans. Bristol
Recruiter: Bristol City Council

Policy Advisor – The Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise (ICCAN)

Department for Transport
£37,803
Look to the sky for a great career opportunity Woking, Surrey
Recruiter: Department for Transport

Skilled Road Worker (TRR)

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£26,025 - £31,536 depending on knowledge, skills and experience
Do you want to be part of a supportive team and use an innovative method of working on the highway? London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Assistant Director of Transport & Sustainability

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£93,098 - £102,841
This dynamic role will see you provide strategic leadership to our transport strategy Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Fleet Monitoring Officer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£29.766 - £30.711
An opportunity has arisen in the Fleet & Waste Strategy Team for a Fleet Monitoring Officer on a 6-month secondment. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Highways Customer Communications Officer

North Yorkshire County Council
£27,741 to £30,451
We are looking for a strong communicator to join our Highways Team in Boroughbridge.   Boroughbridge, York
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Assistant Engineer - Grade 2

Northumberland County Council
£24,313 and £26,999
We are looking for candidates to fill the post of Assistant Engineer. Morpeth, Northumberland
Recruiter: Northumberland County Council

Street Cleaning Operative / Driver

Barnet London Borough Council
Competitive Salary
We are looking for hard working, motivated, reliable people to join our team. Barnet (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recruiter: Barnet London Borough Council

Senior Engineer Network Management

City and County of Swansea Council
£32,878 - £36,876 per annum
This is an exciting opportunity to support the council’s ambitions to develop affordable housing in Swansea Swansea (Abertawe)
Recruiter: City and County of Swansea Council

Highways Manager - Operations

Lancashire County Council
£46,566-£50,514 Per annum
Lancashire is a vibrant and striking place to live and work and it’s also one of the fastest growing locations in the UK. Lancashire
Recruiter: Lancashire County Council

Highways Inspector

Hackney London Borough Council
£28,752 - £32,577
We are looking for an organised and self-motivated individual to join our Streetworks Team based in Hackney Central. Hackney, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Hackney London Borough Council

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue
  • Shell celebrates 100 years of bitumen
  • Why we need to be more strategic about safety
  • Major reforms aim to close cycling gap
View the latest issue

Latest Video