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Transport asset management

A highway authority is an organisation that is responsible for the management of public highways. This is how we manage them.

What is a Transport Asset Management Plan?

A Transport Asset Management Plan (TAMP) is a document that helps inform investment decisions to help maintain our transport network.

Our TAMP was updated in 2016 to reflect the recommendations in guidance published by the Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme and the new ‘Well-Managed Highway Infrastructure Code of Practice’ published by the UK Roads Liaison Group.

The Plan is particularly important because our current funding levels are not enough to keep all our transport assets in ‘as new’ condition. Transport assets include carriageways, footways and cycleways, highway structures (such as bridges), street lighting, street furniture (such as traffic signs) and highway land.

The TAMP sets out what assets we have, what condition they’re in, and what we are likely to need in the future. This allows us to direct our limited funds effectively by applying the principle of ‘right maintenance treatment at the right time’ to minimise whole life costs.

Our current TAMP is available to view below:

East Riding Transport Asset Management Plan 2016-2029 (pdf 8.6mb opens in new window)

East Riding TAMP - Appendix A - Data Management Strategy (pdf 495kb opens in new window)

East Riding TAMP - Appendix B - Network Resilience Plan (pdf 5.4mb opens in new window)

East Riding TAMP - Appendix C - Communications Plan (pdf 836kb opens in new window)

East Riding TAMP - Appendix D - Risk Assessments (pdf 483kb opens in new window)

The following documents explain how we set out the strategic vision for East Riding of Yorkshire and how the highway infrastructure can be created, managed and maintained to provide maximum benefit to the people who live, work and visit the East Riding:

Highway Infrastructure Asset Management Strategy 2018 (pdf 3.55mb opens in new window)

Highway Infrastructure Asset Management Policy (pdf 58kb opens in new window)

What is a highway?

A highway is any area over which the public have a right to pass and repass. A highway can, therefore include roads, footpaths, bridleways and byways open to all traffic (BOATs). More information can be found on our public rights of way page.

Who is the Highway Authority and what are they responsible for?

A highway authority is an organisation that is responsible for the management of public highways. This role can be held by a number of different groups. 

In the East Riding, the council is responsible for managing local roads. Highways England is responsible for managing motorways and trunk roads – the M62, M18, the A63 and part of the A1033:

Highways England website (external website - opens in new window)

The council, as a highway authority, has to ensure that the public have safe passage along the highway and that the highway is not dangerous for traffic.

Which streets are the highway authority responsible for?

Every highway authority has to keep a correct and up to date a record of highways maintainable at public expense which may be inspected by the public. This is referred to as the list of streets.

What does the council maintain in its role as a highway authority?

As the local highway authority, the council maintains a large network of assets to support the public’s highway rights and enable over 26 million journeys a year. These assets include:

  • 3,400km (2,100 miles) of carriageway
  • 1,900km (1,170 miles) of footways
  • 721 bridges and structures
  • 39,000 street lights
  • 58,000 traffic signs

The value of all the council’s highway assets is over £3bn, however, there are a number of assets on the highway that the council does not maintain. These include private bridges, some bus shelters and street lights installed by residents or private businesses.

Does the council own the land beneath the highway?

In many cases the council, as the highway authority, does not own the land beneath the highway.  Only in special circumstances, such as the construction of a significant length of new road, does the authority purchase the land that a highway runs over.

It is normally assumed that the owner of land directly next to a road is also the owner of the adjoining section of the road up to the middle line. This is described in the Land Registry’s guidance:

Land Registry plans: boundaries (GOV.UK - external website)

What is the council’s long term strategy for highways?

Our long-term strategy for highways is set out in our Transport Asset Management Plan (TAMP), which was developed as part of the Local Transport Plan and adopted in April 2015. The TAMP is Appendix B of the Local Transport Plan strategy.

Investment in maintaining our roads is directed to where it will make the most significant impact in terms of achieving the council’s corporate priorities and our Local Transport Plan objectives. This means ensuring that the strategic routes are maintained in good condition, offering an alternative to the car for short journeys and minimising the use of energy and resources.

Current funding is not enough to maintain the whole network at the appropriate level and the plan for unclassified routes has become one of ‘managed deterioration’. This has been made worse by recent bad weather such as flooding and cold winters.

What funding is available to maintain the roads, and what is it spent on?

The authority receives a capital grant for highway maintenance from the Department for Transport (DfT) each year. This funding is provided for the replacement of existing highway assets, such the replacement of a road when it reaches the end of its life.

We also receive revenue funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). This funding is used for more reactive measures (such as pothole repairs), routine maintenance and other highway duties.

A breakdown showing how our highway funding was spent in 2017/18 is included below:

Capital 2017/18
Area  Amount spent
Carriageways                                          £12,994,000
Footways & cycle tracks £1,006,000
Structures £2,978,000
Street lighting £4,146,000
Revenue 2017/18
Area  Amount spent
Carriageways  £9,425,000
Footways & cycle tracks £1,298,000
Structures £887,000
Street lighting £2,582,000
Street furniture £138,000
Traffic management £252,000
Land £840,000
Winter maintenance £2,719,000
Planning, policy and strategic management
services, other
£625,000


To boost our existing grant funding we submitted a bid through the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership's Local Growth Fund for funding to carry out additional highway maintenance improvement schemes on our 'A' road network. In 2016 we were successful in our bid and have now been awarded an extra £16.7m of capital funding to help maintain our 'A' roads. This money is to be spent over the next five years.

We received an allocation of £898,000, with a further £1,251,000 at a later date, from the DfT as part of the Government's Pothole Action Fund for 2017/18. This funding has enabled the authority to fix a total of 21,646 potholes on its highway network.

We have also received allocations of £931,000 and £321,000 from the DfT from the Pothole Action Fund and for flood resilience for 2018/19. 

How much would it cost to repair all the highways in the East Riding?

The road network is in constant use and is subject to constant wear and tear. 

If we wanted to bring all highways up to an ‘as new’ standard, we estimate it would require an investment of £200m. This is sometimes referred to as the maintenance backlog. Regrettably there is not enough money to fund all schemes and we have to accept that there will always be roads that are not in the best condition. Considering the amount of funding available, we have to prioritise our planned maintenance work carefully to ensure works offer value for money and maximum benefits for East Riding residents and visitors.

How do you prioritise what work is done?

We have to make the most of our existing infrastructure and which  means we have to get as much out of a road as we can. We do this by the use of preventative treatments where sites are suitable and affordable, and by planning more expensive reconstruction at an appropriate time. Acting too late means low-cost solutions may be unsuitable. Acting too early means we won’t have the money available for other roads in need, leading to more costly repairs later on and spiralling highway costs.

Our major maintenance programme is reviewed annually. Every public carriageway and footway in East Riding is assessed each year using the latest available data including condition surveys, safety records and input from the highway area engineers. 

The data is gathered in autumn in order to put together prioritised lists for the following financial year. The carriageways are split into four lists: one each for A roads, B roads, C roads and Unclassified roads. Footways are split into two lists: Category 1 & 2 footways (busy urban footways) and Category 3 & 4 footways (less busy links and local access footways). Each programme is then developed by working down the prioritised list to make best use of our available funding.

The capital funding allocation that we receive from the Department of Transport is split between the different lists using an asset based methodology, taking into consideration the Performance Indicators (PIs) that we report annually. This means that each programme has its own budget attached to it.

What highway maintenance works are planned for this year?

Proposed carriageway planned maintenance works for 2017/18 - the treatment within these works will consist of any of the following:

  • Full reconstruction
  • Inlay or overlay (surface layer replacement)
  • Surface dressing treatment (tar and chippings)
  • Pre-surface dressing patching

Proposed Carriageway Planned Maintenance Works 2018/19 (pdf 69kb opens in new window)

Pre-surface dressing patching - this is patching that is required prior to the following year's surface dressing programme:

Proposed Pre-Surface Dressing Patching Planned Maintenance Works 2018/19 (pdf 65kb opens in new window)

Please note that these schemes are indicative only and may be subject to change.

There is more information on road and footpath maintenance in East Yorkshire available.

Further details will appear throughout the year on:

www.roadworks.org (external website opens in new window)

Some schemes are being delivered using funding from the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) following the council's successful bid for an extra £16.7m of funding in 2016/17 to improve 'A' classified roads in the East Riding, with two more years of funding still to go.

Why don’t you fix all defects when you come to a section of road?

All highways are regularly inspected to identify defects which are likely to cause a hazard to road users.  Inspections are also carried out following reports from the public.  

We assess the risks of the defects based on their size, depth and location and determine an appropriate response.  We often find that defects do not require immediate attention. Where it is safe to do so, some minor defects are not repaired or are left for a longer period of time in order for more efficient repair methods to be undertaken.

If you see a pothole or defect likely to cause danger please report it online, giving dimensions (width, depth, length) and location in order that appropriate action can be taken.

Isn’t it better to do a proper surfacing scheme rather than come back lots of times to fix potholes?

Yes, in the long term the cost of a surfacing scheme is less per square metre than pothole repairs, and the council does favour preventative rather than reactive maintenance. However the funding for more expensive surfacing schemes is often not readily available. 

It is often necessary to undertake cheaper pothole repairs to keep roads safe as there is insufficient funding to do more expensive major repair works.

We do take account of the ongoing reactive costs associated with pothole repairs when we are producing our prioritised list of planned maintenance schemes each year.

Who can I contact for more information?

The highways asset management team can be contacted on:

Email: transport.policy@eastriding.gov.uk

What is the Pothole Fund?

In March 2016 the government announced a new £250 million Pothole Action Fund to help local highway authorities across England tackle potholes on their local road networks. 

As part of this fund we were awarded an extra £690,000 in 2016/17 to permanently fix potholes on our road network, or to invest in measures to stop potholes forming in the first place. As part of this we must publish a statement on our website setting out how we have spent our allocation from the Pothole Action Fund. This statement is available to view below. It confirms that the extra money was used to repair and prevent 8,938 potholes from forming on roads in the East Riding.

Department  for Transport Pothole Action Fund 2016 ERYC (pdf 2.09mb opens in new window)