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  • Writer's pictureGinger Lehmann

Highways Maintenance Capital Funding: How to apply for the Incentive Fund 2020/21

The Department for Transport has released the questionnaire for the incentive fund 2020/21. Each Local authority in England (excluding London) is invited to complete a self-assessment questionnaire, in order to establish the share of the Incentive fund they will be eligible for in 2020/21.

Eligible local highway authorities have until 11:59 pm on Friday 28 February 2020 to submit a completed questionnaire. So we strongly encourage any eligible local authorities to take this opportunity. You can find the form and information here:

What is the Incentive fund?

In December 2014, the Government announced that £6 billion was being made available between 2015/16 and 2020/21 for local highways maintenance capital funding. From that funding, £578 million has been set aside for an Incentive Fund scheme, to reward councils who demonstrate they are delivering value for money in carrying out cost-effective improvements.

Since then the Government has announced a further £296 million between 2016/17 and 2020/21 to help tackle potholes or stop them forming as part of a Pothole Action Fund. This included a further £46 million announced in the Autumn 2017 Budget for the 2017/18 financial year. The Budget 2018 also provided a further £420 million in the 2018/19 financial year for highways maintenance including repair of potholes and keeping bridges open and safe, as well as for minor highway works.

How is the amount of funding determined?

Each authority will score themselves against 22 questions, and place themselves into one of 3 Bands on the basis of the available evidence. The incentive funding awarded to each local highway authority will be based on their score in this questionnaire and will be relative to the amount received through the needs-based funding formula. In 2020/21, only authorities in Band 3 will receive their full share of the £151 million, whilst authorities in Band 2 will receive 30% of their share, and Band 1 will receive no funding at all.

Do I need to provide evidence to apply?

Evidence is not necessarily needed to be included in full in the application, although supporting evidence is needed for the Section 151 Officer at each local authority to ensure they are satisfied that the evidence is sufficient for him/her to sign off the overall submission and total score.

What are the 22 questions?

  1. Does your local authority have an asset management policy and strategy for its highway infrastructure?

  2. Has your local authority communicated its approach to highway infrastructure asset management?

  3. Does your local authority have a performance management framework and maintenance regime that supports its highway infrastructure asset management strategy and continuous improvement?

  4. Does your local authority have an effective regime to manage its highway infrastructure asset data?

  5. Is your local authority undertaking lifecycle planning as part of its highway infrastructure asset management?

  6. Is your authority able to demonstrate leadership and commitment from senior decision-makers in taking forward its highway infrastructure asset management approach?

  7. Has your local authority identified the appropriate competencies required for highway infrastructure asset management and what training may be required?

  8. Does your local authority have a comprehensive approach to managing current and future risks associated with the highway infrastructure assets?

  9. Has your local authority established a resilient network as recommended by the 2014 Transport Resilience Review?

  10. Has your local authority implemented the relevant recommendations of the 2012 HMEP Potholes Review - Prevention and a Better Cure?

  11. Has your local authority implemented the relevant recommendations of the 2012 HMEP Guidance on the Management of Highway Drainage Assets?

  12. Does your local authority undertake customer satisfaction surveys into the condition of its highway network, and if so, how does it use this information to help drive service improvement?

  13. Does your local authority have a mechanism in place to gather customer feedback on its highway maintenance service, and if so, how does it use this information?

  14. How does your local authority ensure that customers are kept informed about their highway maintenance service?

  15. Does your local authority undertake benchmarking to drive improvement in its highway maintenance service?

  16. Does your local authority have a process in place to measure the ongoing cashable and non-cashable efficiencies that are being delivered in the highway maintenance service?

  17. Does your local authority have a mechanism in place to undertake a periodic review of its operational service delivery arrangements for the highway maintenance service?

  18. Is your authority working in collaboration with your operational service provider and their supply chain in delivering the highway maintenance service or any component of it?

  19. Has your local authority undertaken a Lean or equivalent transformational change management review of its highway maintenance service or any aspect of it?

  20. Has your local authority produced a long-term forward programme of capital maintenance works for all its highway infrastructure assets?

  21. Is your local authority or your operational service provider working in collaboration in delivering the highway maintenance service or any component of it?

  22. Is your local authority adopting a good practice approach in the way it procures external highway maintenance services?

Asset management involvement in funding?

The questionnaire consists of 9 asset management questions based on the recommendations of UKRLG / HMEP Highway Infrastructure Asset Management Guidance, published in 2013.

Asset management surveying can be a core factor in asset management strategy. We provide high-quality data which can be used for effective asset management. So contact us for more information on how we can help support you with our services.

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