RSTA Insights: Making the investment case to (and with) government

Paul Boss

Paul Boss, chief executive of the Road Surface Treatments Association, outlines the hard work being done behind the scenes to secure proper investment in local highway maintenance.

At the meeting of the UKRLG / ADEPT Asset Management Board in early February this year, the main item on the agenda was the work our now late friend Steve Berry had begun - to try and secure a deal for the highway maintenance sector.

Steve had made great gains in securing additional funding over recent years through pothole, inclement weather and challenge funds. His ultimate goal in this area was to secure guaranteed funding that would enable local highway authorities and the supply chain to properly plan and manage our highway assets with known investment numbers for the next few years.

He also desired the investment would be based on needs rather than historical budgets to ensure improvements in the condition of the network, structures and other assets that form part of our most valuable public asset.

The business case was initiated by Steve who at the time planned to see it through, such was his commitment to the cause.

It was agreed the Board would work with the Department for Transport (DfT) to develop a comprehensive business case for investing in highway maintenance, for submission to HM Treasury and Government, prior to the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR).

The results of the CSR are due to be announced this autumn following a postponement last year, which saw one-year indicative allocations announced that were reduced significantly shortly before the current financial year begun, leading to many last minute cuts to planned works, adding further to the already long local backlog.

Work began, initially using the Public Value Framework template, with four pillars/themes agreed, pursuing goals, managing inputs, user and citizen engagement, and developing system capacity.

Pillar teams, each with a lead, were then agreed and a number of questions were posed beneath each theme. Each question was given an evidence base, that could be developed to demonstrate the requirement for needs-based and preferably medium to long-term funding.

Narratives for each pillar were then also developed and 65 individual case studies agreed for development to demonstrate success to various audiences as required.

The next stage was to agree who would develop each of the case studies to be submitted within the overall business case and get to work on these, ensuring they were completed within the short timescales available to us.

The final draft business case and the required case studies were submitted to the DfT in mid-August, with the finalised submission at the end of August.

The finalised business case will hopefully be approved shortly and submitted to HM Treasury. It will be pivotal in securing the needs-based medium term funding that has for so long eluded the sector, to the detriment of our local highway asset.

What the business case for investing in highway maintenance demonstrates is not only the funding required but also how properly funded and planned programmes of maintenance will ensure massive efficiency savings.

This is particularly true where preventative maintenance programmes of whole-lifecycle costed maintenance can be fully implemented, whilst also reducing our carbon generation substantially as a result of our highway operations and ensuring a more sustainable future for our country and the planet.

Added to this, is the demonstration within the business case of the contribution the local highways asset makes to the local and national economy and the health and wellbeing of our communities.

Contributing to our need to build back better, the required funding, if forthcoming, will repay itself several times over in relation to the state of the nation and the effects on the economy, health and wellbeing.

My hope, and I know the hope of my colleagues who sit on the UKRLG / ADEPT Asset Management Board, is that the case for investing in highway maintenance is successful for all the benefits it would bring to the nation, and how fitting a final legacy it could prove for Steve.

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue


  • Smart motorways' BCR problem
  • New lighting decision support tool



View the latest issue

Highways jobs

Highway Engineer - Reactive Maintenance

£35,354 - £40,506 incl. LWA, plus £963 car allowance
We make a difference to the environment we live in. Come and help us manage our highway infrastructure. Bracknell, Berkshire
Recruiter: Bracknell Forest Borough Council

Maintenance Manager

£43,857 to £47,782
We are currently looking for a strong candidate to take up the role of Maintenance Manager at Area 6 Boroughbridge. Boroughbridge, York
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Engineer Sustainable Development

£32,234 - £36,922 per annum
To help support this key area of work, we are looking for an enthusiastic, experienced and forward thinking Engineer to... Stafford, Staffordshire
Recruiter: Staffordshire County Council

Senior Engineer (Streetscene)

£40,632 - £45,594
We are looking for 2 Senior Engineers to join our team to help deliver effective Capital and Revenue investments programmes to... Hackney, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Hackney London Borough Council

Neighbourhood Highway Officers - West and North

£28,672 per annum
We are seeking a recruit two Neighbourhood Highway Officers (NHO), to be based in Okehampton and Tiverton, Devon. Devon
Recruiter: Devon County Council

Warehouse Assistant/Driver

£20,903 - £24,491 per annum
The successful applicants will work as part of a team in a busy work environment to carry out warehouse and... Sandwell, West Midlands
Recruiter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Planning Policy Manager

£61.470 - £64.704
Be part of Greenwich's vision to successfully accommodate a high level of sustainable growth, which... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Refuse Driver (Rolling Advert - applications checked weekly)

£30.032 - £31.610
It is an exciting time in Street Services at the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Be part of a team who are... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Traffic Engineer

£32,301 - £37,491
We are currently looking for an experienced Traffic Engineer to join our Design & Engineering team.  London (Greater)
Recruiter: Hackney London Borough Council

Apprentice Civil Engineering Technician

This opportunity is primarily based out of our West Offices in the heart of York. York, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: City of York Council

Traffic Enforcement Manager

£40,869 - £43,860
As part of a major service transformation, Haringey is seeking to recruit to a new number of new positions. Haringey, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Haringey London Borough Council

Refuse Driver

£30032 - £31610 per annum + (amount shown is salary plus allowances)
Refuse Driver (LGV Chargehand Driver)(starting total pay of £30,032 - this is made up of the base grade salary plus contractual overtime and allowance England, London, Woolwich
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Corporate Director (Environment, Communities & Leisure)

Up to £83,424 (pay award pending)
As one of our two Corporate Directors reporting to the Chief Executive to form our Senior Leadership Team your... Gedling, Nottingham
Recruiter: Gedling Borough Council

Senior Infrastructure Engineer

£45.834 - £56.141
This is a great role in a vibrant and growing team; we’re looking for people with significant experience in... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Parking Service Business Manager

£43,860 - £46,839
As part of a major service transformation, Haringey is seeking to recruit to a new number of new positions. Haringey, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Haringey London Borough Council

Roads Technician

£18,812 - £23,791
This is a great opportunity for you to join Lincolnshire County Council's Technical Services Partnership as... Lincolnshire
Recruiter: Lincolnshire County Council

Roads Engineer

£25,991 - £35,745
We are looking for people to join one of our three Roads teams, made up of around 30 friendly and enthusiastic professionals. Lincolnshire
Recruiter: Lincolnshire County Council

Senior Project Manager

Up to £50,823 per annum
The role of this post is to oversee the project management, development and implementation of the County Council’s Major Transport Projects.. Leicestershire
Recruiter: Leicestershire County Council

Programme and Change Delivery Manager (Spatial Planning and Urban Design)

£43,833 - £53,115 Depending on skills and experience
Are you a change delivery manager with expertise in England’s local government spatial planning and urban design sector? Wandsworth, London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Bridges Manager – Highways and Transportation

£49,320 to £57,376
You will be responsible for... Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Highways Presents

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Video