Government should make better use of locally-collected data on road conditions to help influence policy and funding in this area.
That is one of the recommendations the RAC Foundation makes in its submission to the Transport Select Committee inquiry on Local Roads Funding and Governance.
The Foundation identifies three key dimensions to the maintenance of local roads: governance, funding and engineering practices.
The Foundation notes that keeping adequate skilled personnel with local highways authority is increasingly difficult in the face of shrinking budgets.
It also asks whether a contribution for maintaining local roads should come from the utility companies which are responsible for many of the works that are routinely seen across the network:
“With household expenditure on energy, water/sewerage and telephone landlines amounting to over £40bn/year along with commercial and industrial spending the total spend for England for utilities must substantially exceed £50bn/year – a 1% levy for local road easements would yield £500m or so – which would make a healthy contribution to local road maintenance costs.”