As you will know, Highway Maintenance Capital funding is provided in the form of a direct grant from Government via the Department for Transport. There are three components of the grant, a Needs Assessment, Challenge Fund, and Incentive Fund.
The needs assessment shares the available DfT funding to Local Highway Authorities based on an assessment of the size of networks. The Challenge Fund involved a bidding process and when it was first launched, Devon was awarded about £10m for upgrading street lighting to low energy LED lighting. We wait to hear what sort of bids will be eligible for the next round of the Challenge Fund.
The incentive fund involves a process of assessing Local Highway Authorities against 22 questions relating to Asset Management; Resilience; Customers; Benchmarking and Efficiency and Service Delivery. The reward for those authorities that achieve the rating, Band 3, compared to the second rating, Band 2, is more capital funding. In 2016/17 this amounts to about £350,000 in Devon and this increases to about £5 million in 2020/21. The Asset Management Team has carried out a gap analysis on the 22 assessment questions so that we can plan to maximise Devon’s Capital receipt from the DfT by achieving a Band 3 rating. Part of the plan is to review and refresh the Highway Asset Management Policy, Strategy and Plan and a report is currently being prepared to go to Place Scrutiny in September to involve elected Members and use their feedback to inform a report to Cabinet in the autumn to agree Devon’s approach to Highway Asset Management.