Transport consultancy TRL (the Transport Research Laboratory), is offering expert advice to help local authorities adopt best practice and secure additional funding.
It follows the launch last month of the spreadsheet-based Highways Maintenance Appraisal Tool (HMAT), which allows local highway authorities to assess the economic costs and benefits of proposed asset management strategies
HMAT builds on the Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme (HMEP) and Potholes Review of 2012, and is designed to enable officials to make key decisions on maintenance funding and justify any proposed budget increases.
TRL says using the tool will help organisations secure additional funding as part of the Department for Transport Local Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund.
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Now experts from TRL are offering support in using HMAT ‘to maximise performance and reduce costs, resulting in more efficient highways maintenance’, together with advice on PFI arrangements.
Rob Wallis, CEO of TRL, commented: ‘HMAT enables local highway authorities in England to demonstrate a wider approach to road maintenance planning and to bid for these extra maintenance funds.
'Currently, a small proportion of the highways maintenance budget is assigned to a Local Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund, but this is expected to increase over the coming years. So it will be increasingly important for highways officials to provide evidence to justify budget for maintenance. HMAT will be vital in helping to unlock this extra funding.’
He added: ‘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.’