You know (if you read the minutes of the Transport Committee) that I represent TAG members on the Pothole Review Group. This review was instigated by Norman Baker back in April, prompted by the adverse publicity given to the condition our highways during the last two winter seasons. It is being administered as part of the HMEP.
The group is made up of representatives from across the industry, including prominent users, under the chairship of Matthew Lugg. You can see the full list of members in the progress report, which I’ll come to in a minute,
As a group we have brainstormed all we know about the causes and effects of potholes and Atkins was engaged to facilitate and record our thinking. An interim product of the review has just been made publicly available, a progress report for the Minister: www.dft.gov.uk/publications/potholes-review-progress-report – the report has been with the Minister for a few weeks but we were asked not to distribute until he approved it.
Work towards a final report, to be published in March 2012, continues and as part of this we want to capture what good practice is being adopted by local authorities in pothole management, in order to provide evidence as to how potholes can be better managed.
At present we have a number of examples of best practice but most of these are from larger authorities, the Project Board are particularly looking for examples of good practice from smaller authorities that could be used as part of the Review. In particular we are looking at the following areas:
- Identification and Assessment
- Right First Time Delivery
- Stakeholder Engagement
- Preventative Maintenance
- Business Case
I would hope that some of our member Councils can cite their own practices that match one or more of these criteria; please contact me as soon as you can.
Strictly the Pothole Review is an English review, but any examples of good practice from Northern Ireland, Wales or Scotland would be welcome. If any of our private sector members know of good examples through their contact with non-TAG councils let’s collect those also.
As part of the Spring 2011 budget, the government announced that Section 31 emergency funding was to be made available to local authorities to assist in the repair of damage caused to the road network by the severe winter weather during 2010 / 11. A condition of this grant is the publication of a brief public statement, made available on the Council’s website and copied to the Department for Transport, of how the funding was spent. I would like to collect together these statements from member Councils; to save me searching through all your web sites please can you send me a copy of your statement.
Thanks, in anticipation, for your contributions. I hope you all have great Christmas, and may your call-outs be few.