Date Published: 24 September 2021
Road users across Rutland are being encouraged to share their views on a five-year strategy that explains how local highways assets such as roads, paths, bridges and streetlights will be maintained.
Rutland County Council’s new Highways Infrastructure Asset Management Strategy covers the period up to 2026 and sets out how the authority will take care of the many individual components that make up the highway network.
“The Council is responsible for managing and maintaining more than 330 miles of highways and 120 miles of footways, as well as street lighting, bridges, traffic signals and drainage. This is critical infrastructure for everyone who lives and works in the county, as well as keeping us connected to the wider region. It’s important that we have a comprehensive plan for how we’re going to keep everything in good working order.” Councillor Lucy Stephenson, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport at Rutland County Council
A draft of Rutland’s Highways Infrastructure Asset Management Strategy lists the council’s main aims and objectives when it comes to managing the local highway network. They are:
To make sure highway assets are maintained in a safe condition and strive to reduce the number of casualties on Rutland’s roads.
- To maintain the current condition on carriageways, footways and drainage and seek to improve the connectivity of footways, cycleways and public rights of way
- To consider the future impacts of decisions on cost, the environment and the expectations of road users
- To address the challenge of climate change.
To understand the needs of road users and keep them informed
In order to achieve these aims and objectives, the draft strategy recommends a preventative approach that makes best use of public money and reduces the impact that highway maintenance work can have on the environment.
A preventative strategy means that highway repairs are carried out regularly, rather than allowing highway assets and structure to degrade to the point where they must be completely replaced.
Carrying out regular low-level interventions over the whole life of an asset, rather than waiting to replace it entirely, is more cost effective, less intensive and can lead to a reduction in carbon emissions.
“When it comes to managing the local highway network, it’s far more efficient to carry out regular maintenance that fixes small problems early on and extends the life of our roads, paths and bridges. The alternative would be to wait until these assets can no longer be used and then replace them completely. This work is much more disruptive for road users and expensive for the Council. For example, it would cost well over half a billion pounds – £680million – to replace every paved road and footpath in Rutland. I hope residents will be supportive of the approach set out in our new asset management strategy and give us their views.” Councillor Stephenson added
Consultation on Rutland’s draft Highways Infrastructure Asset Management Strategy is now live and runs until Sunday 17 October. You can find out more and take part online.
Anyone who wishes to take part in the consultation but does not have access to the internet can call Rutland County Council on: 01572 722 577.