Highland models how to maximise funding
Highland Council is to switch funds from resurfacing to surface dressing and from rural roads to urban roads after modelling how to make its maintenance funding go further.
The authority used a Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland evaluation tool to assess the impact of its current budgeting decisions on the life of its highways assets.
This tool estimated that, if the council continues spending £7m on capital-funded resurfacing of carriageways and £1.6m on revenue-funded surface dressing schemes, by 2030 14% of roads will be in the worst ‘red’ Scanner category and require immediate maintenance, compared to 6% now. But transferring £1.5m from the resurfacing budget to surface dressing would limit the proportion of carriageway in the worst condition to 8%.
Spending less on rural roads and more on urban roads will also prevent the proportion of ‘red’ urban roads increasing from 7% to an estimated 33%. So the authority will spend 79% of its budget on rural roads and 21% on urban roads, which compares to the current 94%-6% split.
The recommendations from John MacLennan, senior service support officer, were approved by the transport, environment and community committee.