Highways Asset Management funding streams are now available for local authorities to bid for and grants awarded.
This funding is for local authorities to ensure they are following an asset management approach and adopting efficiency and best practice principles for local highway maintenance. The funding is a mechanism for authorities to receive additional funding over and above the Needs Based Formula.
Northamptonshire has submitted the ‘self-assessment questionnaire’, signed off by the Section 151 officer and has determined that the authority currently sits within Band 2 and as a consequence should receive £1,144,466 budget allocation.
Pothole Action Fund
The Pothole Action Fund was announced in the 2015 budget and totals to £250 million. The purpose of this budget is to help to tackle potholes or to stop them forming in the first place. The funding for Northamptonshire for 2017 to 2018 is £1,171,000.
This fund is to enable local highway authorities in England to bid for major maintenance projects that are otherwise difficult to fund through the normal Needs Based Formula funding they receive. Funding in 2017 to 2018 will be allocated through a bidding round. Northamptonshire has put forward a bid for the following:
A605 Thrapston to County Boundary asset renewal and upgrade scheme
The scheme provides for major asset renewal and upgrade along sections of the A605 between Thrapston and the County Boundary, improving safety along the route, upgrading safety features and removing the need for frequent remedial patching works. The Department for Transport have stated that nationally “It is expected that around 10 schemes will be funded”.
National productivity investment fund
The National productivity investment fund is new funding for local highway and other local transport improvements. The funding aims to reduce congestion at key location upgrades, or to improve the maintenance of local highway assets to improve access to employment and housing, and to develop economic and job creation opportunities.
Northamptonshire will receive £2,907,000 from this fund, we will be using the fund to deal with issues in addition to the normal funding sources to tackle projects, which would be difficult to fund from the local highways maintenance capital block funding. We propose to split the budget as follows:
- Carriageway - £588,235
- Structures - £936,412
- Intelligent Transport System - £970,588
- Integrated transport - £411,765
We spent the budget on the following schemes:
To reduce congestion at key locations: Traffic Signal upgrade at Billing Road, Cheyne Walk, York Road junction and Wellingborough Road, Lumbertubs Bridge junction Northampton
Works were undertaken to improve two busy Northampton town centre junctions by increasing capacity and adding better pedestrian crossings. The schemes were part of wider works around Northampton town centre to update traffic signals – adding the latest technology to sets of traffic lights so that signals at different junctions can better work together to improve traffic flow around Northampton, thus increasing flow and reducing congestion.
Improve the maintenance of local highway assets: A6 Rothwell Desborough Bypass – Rail and River Bridges remedial works
The A6 is an ex-trunk road and provides a strategic link between the A14 Trunk Road and Market Harborough. The road was constructed by the Highways Agency (now Highways England) and opened to traffic in August 2003. Shortly after, the road was de-trunked and responsibility passed to Northamptonshire County Council where it has remained as a key strategic route.
The route is key to supporting both the local economy and aiding the movement of traffic through the county. The loss of a strategic has a major impact on the local road network with 11,208 vehicles and 1,284 large goods vehicles are displaced on to the diversion route and / or surrounding rural road network.
Over the years there have been a number of issues with this section of the A6, culminating in the closure of the road in January 2017. The works to rectify the issues have been substantial and they would have been difficult to fund from the Local Highways Maintenance Capital Block Funding.
To improve access to employment and housing, to develop economic and job creation opportunities: New shared use cycleway alongside Steel Road, Corby
The works undertaken at Steel Road, Corby, were to widen the existing footway to 2.5m to provide a safe off carriageway shared use cycleway linking Corby Town Centre to both Priors Hall and Weldon Industries. The works include a new high-quality surface facility, safe crossing points and associated signing and lining works.
The chosen solution provides a high-quality sustainable link between Corby Town Centre to both residential and commercial areas as well as the Corby Business Academy School. Encouraging sustainable transport links to the adjacent industry and school from Corby Town Centre helps to reduce commuter traffic within the area and thereby relieving congestion on the adjacent road network and the key junctions within the estate and along the A427.
The adjacent industrial areas offer significant employment for the whole of Corby Town. Many of Corby's main employers such as RS Components, Tata Steel and Morrison's, now benefit from a sustainable link to their sites. The new facility provides an affordable transport option (e.g. cycling and walking) to these sites, which benefits both current and future employees who don't have access to a vehicle or public transport.
The area around Priors Hall and Weldon Estates has been identified as a growth area for Corby and any future expansion in this area will benefit from this link. Further funding may be secured from developers in the future to extend the facility, creating a wider network of sustainable links for Corby.