Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Memoranda


Memorandum by the Association of London Government (RM 04)

ROAD MAINTENANCE INQUIRY

  The Association of London Government represents all 32 London boroughs, the Corporation of London and the GLA. The ALG's Transport and Environment Committee acts as the statutory joint committee under s72 of the Road Traffic Act 1991 and considers all policy matters relating to transport, planning and environment which have implications or relevance to London.

  In response to the Sub-Committee's call for written evidence the ALG would like to bring to the attention of the Sub-Committee work carried out by its advisers—the London Technical Advisers Group (LOTAG)—which address the terms of reference of the Sub-Committee's inquiry, namely:

    —  the current state of repair of motorways and trunk roads, and of local authority principal roads;

    —  the steps taken by the Government, Highways Agency and local authorities to ensure that such roads are kept in good repair; and

    —  what further steps should be taken to bring roads in this country up to the best possible standard.

  This research is the first time such a comprehensive study of the state of the network has been carried out in a major conurbation in the UK. Full mapped details of the state of the London boroughs' carriageway network have been collated and supplied to each borough. A comprehensive executive summary of the report on the project (managed by Hammersmith and Fulham as the lead borough) is attached and can be supplied on CD ROM. [6]

  The report estimates that £100 million is required to address the current backlog of carriageway work in London. This estimate has been supplied to the Mayor who is now responsible for funding carriageway maintenance on London boroughs' roads.

  A further issue which the ALG would bring to the Sub-Committee's attention is that of the continuing activities of the utility companies. Their activities have a major effect on the state of repair of the road network. Not only are major works of resurfacing and reconstruction repair damaged by the physical activity of trench laying, but evidence available from Hammersmith and Fulham Council of the quality of reinstatement by the utilities companies shows (from a 2 per cent sample) that since the Streetworks Act of 1991 over 90 per cent of all carriageway openings have not been reinstated to specification.

  The ALG believes that the current streetworks legislation fails to protect the carriageway from the short and long-term damage caused by utility works. The best possible standard of surface on local authority roads cannot be achieved or even maintained from existing or planned resources until these issues are addressed.

Nick Lester, Director

ALG Transport and Environment Committee

19 January 2001


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