Highways Review is on the road to success
It is now more than 18 months since Nottinghamshire County Council launched a cross-party Highways Review panel to look at how we repaired and maintained our roads.
When the panel was set up in May 2021, shortly after the Local Elections, people on the doorstep were telling us loudly and clearly what they were concerned about - and highways was number one.
The panel, made up of councillors from all political parties, has examined the methods and technologies used by the County Council and Via East Midlands to maintain and repair the county’s 2,750 miles of road and the wider highways network.
This has included all areas of highways management such as road inspections, improvement programmes and funding as well as maintenance treatments and repair techniques.
The review has led to more than 50 recommendations which form part of a Highways Improvement Plan and, as we come to the end of another year, I am delighted to say there have been several notable key achievements and significant progress made.
To date, more than 85 per cent of the original recommendations have been completed and 15 per cent in progress.
Achievements include an additional investment of £12m funding over the next four years that has enabled us to double the repair teams who are delivering twice the area of patching each day – meaning we’ve quadrupled the number of repairs.
Combined with a 106% increase in productivity through changed working methods, this has enabled us to repair the equivalent of over 20 miles of road using these methods and resulted in a 61% reduction in the use of Viafix, the short-term pothole repair.
We have also introduced a new highways hub, located at Via East Midlands’ Bilsthorpe Depot, which is at the heart of how we repair and maintain our roads.
The hub has adopted a whole street approach to how we maintain your local roads more efficiently, and its creation is an example to residents of how we are turning the panel’s recommendations into reality.
Improvements have been made to the way we communicate with residents and road users, including giving them the opportunity to feed back and help us to improve further.
Crucially, residents are now telling us they can see a vast improvement in their roads – which is fantastic – and these are exactly the outcomes the review was implemented to achieve.
However, we cannot rest on our laurels, and we know that when it comes to repairs, people want to see real action.
This is why more investment will be made in the coming year, which includes an increase in spend on footway improvements and drainage repairs across the county.
We will continue with our ‘right repair, right first time’ approach, working with partners and peers to monitor and improve upon our success.
Finally, I am proud that we can put our money where our mouth is on an issue which is a key priority for many of you.
Councillor Neil Clarke MBE, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Nottinghamshire County Council