The council have developed our own asset management framework based on the recommendations within the Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme (HMEP) Infrastructure Asset Management Guidance. The framework includes all asset management activities and processes that are necessary to develop, document, implement and continually improve.
This highlights the context for highways asset management within the council. The context includes a variety of factors that need to be considered when understanding the council’s approach for our highway service. This includes both national and local transport policies, expectation from stakeholders and legal or financial constraints.
4.1.1 Sustainable travel
Brighton and Hove has a 150 kilometre network of aging concrete roads. Whilst this network has served the city well over the last 70 years, it is now reaching the end of its serviceable life. This is impacting on the viability of bus services in areas such as Bevendean, Coldean and Moulsecoomb. These areas have particularly high bus usage levels, which is demonstrated by the fact that bus usage in these areas has returned to pre-covid levels, unlike other areas of the city and across the UK. If we are to support sustainable travel in these areas then further long term investment is needed.
4.1.2 Active and accessible travel
The council has committed to supporting active and accessible travel through improved infrastructure as part of the City Council Plan, Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan and as part of the emerging Local Transport Plan 5 and emerging Accessibility Strategy. Key barriers to accessible movement on foot and on wheels include the condition of the footway as well as the choice of material. Slabs can be easily damaged by pavement parking, heavy loading activities and tree roots which increases the cost of reactive maintenance and increases the whole life carbon costs of the assets. It also increases the risk to users on the footway, particularly those with restricted mobility or sight. Whilst this risk is managed by our extensive highway inspection regime, reactive maintenance is not a long term solution to underfunding.
4.1.3 Carbon reduction
European standards for Carbon Management in Infrastructure (PAS 2080:2016) provides a common framework for all infrastructure sectors on how to manage whole life carbon management when delivering infrastructure assets and programmes of work.
This framework sets out a hierarchy for tackling carbon emissions which identifies prevention as the biggest opportunity for radical reduction in carbon emissions within an infrastructure context.
In highway asset management terms, this means that we must either not build in the first place, or once we have, find ways to increase resilience/longevity and drive down the need for maintenance activities.
In recent years, available capital funds for the maintenance of carriageways and footways have been prioritised for surface renewals on the resilient network. This is in keeping with the Council’s risk based approach to asset management as agreed in our ‘Strategy for Well-Managed Highway Infrastructure’ (approved by ETS in 2021). However, to support the Council’s ambition to be Carbon Neutral by 2030 we need a renewed focus on extending the life of all our highway assets. This requires further capital investment to support a preventative maintenance programme for footways, carriageways and street lighting and further work to develop similar programmes across all our asset groups.
The key activities to be delivered by the council as part of our highway asset management planning process include:
The council’s published commitment to highway asset management.
The council’s published statement as to how we will deliver against the policy which includes implementation of the framework, the strategy for each of the major assets and the council’s commitment to continuous improvement.
The levels of service to be provided by the council and how performance will be measured and reported.
The council’s approach to highway asset data and information management.
The council’s lifecycle plans for all major highway asset groups, including expected future performance based on different investment scenarios and desired levels of service which will be used to inform decisions.
The council’s rolling programme of highway work to meet the asset management approach set out.
Enablers are a series of supporting activities that support the implementation of the highway asset management framework.
Leadership and Organisation
The commitment from senior decision makers in adopting the asset management principals throughout their organisation and culture.
Establish an approach to risk, identify risks, evaluate risks and manage risks to mitigate the impact.
Asset Management Systems
The strategy for the use of different asset systems to support the data and information to enable asset management.
Benchmarking and collaborating with other authorities and establishing a culture that thrives for continuous improvement.
4.4 Programme and Service Delivery
The delivery of effective and efficient work programmes for individual asset groups following the asset management approach.