The economics of road maintenance

About this project

This project is about the wider impacts of inadequate investment in highway maintenance in England and Wales, beyond deteriorating road conditions.

Project background

Deteriorating road conditions can increase costs for users and society, with vehicles consuming more fuel and with diversions due to failed infrastructure or emergency repair works causing additional travel time costs. There may also be costs associated with poorer environmental management, safety and security, and even accessibility.

Project aims & objectives

Through a literature review and questionnaire targeted at local highway authorities, the aim of the project was not to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the potential impacts of road maintenance on local roads but to identify the significant issues that might be apparent and to assess how a better understanding of the impacts could be more fully established.

The objective of this project was to establish a credible starting point for further potential investigations and to identify the steps required for any future analyses. This included understanding existing evidence on the costs and benefits arising from a change in highway maintenance funding and investigating the need and potential to explore this further.

Project timescales

The project was commissioned in September 2012 and the report published in June 2013.

Project partners

This project was delivered by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) on behalf of the RAC Foundation and the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT).

For more information

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Updated: 08 Nov 2018