• fast moving traffic on a UK motorway at night

Summary

The Department for Transport (DfT) called on our expertise to develop methodologies and algorithms in order to value the benefits of highways maintenance spending on local roads. The model we designed informs highway officials when making key decisions on maintenance funding and budget proposals.

The challenge

It was becoming increasingly important for local authorities to provide sound evidence and justification in their applications for highways maintenance funding. A new modelling tool would provide them with the data to support their proposals. 

Our approach

We undertook a study to improve the evidence used to value the benefit of highways upkeep. The study considered and analysed the wider factors of highways maintenance taking into account, among other factors, the impact of delays, carbon emissions and  vehicle operating costs.

This study led to the development of the innovative Highways Maintenance Appraisal Toolkit (HMAT). This spreadsheet based model took two years to develop and was the first time a fully holistic approach had been taken to quantifying the benefits from road maintenance.

Rob Wallis, CEO of TRL, “With the help of HMAT and our expert advice, local authorities can ensure that they reduce costs, improve performance and, most importantly, do not lose out on any funding.”

The results

The tool has helped the DfT to better understand the full benefits of highways maintenance. They have encouraged local authorities to adopt the tool to provide better evidence and justify budget decisions.

Our experts are also advising authorities in adopting best practice for highway appraisal and maintenance, and helping them to secure additional funding. The tool has already been suscessfully used in two local major funding applications to the DfT.

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