Highways maintenance consultation

Highways MaintenanceHighways Maintenance Consultation

Julian Higgins, Assistant Highways Manager (ITS & Street Lighting) Hampshire County Council Highways writes:

Hampshire County Council is asking residents for their feedback to help prioritise proposals which aim to reduce the costs of some environmental work on Hampshire’s highways.
As partners in the Street Lighting PFI Contract I specifically wanted you to be aware of this consultation in order to give you the opportunity to participate.

The proposed changes to the way highways environmental work is carried out, and on which the County Council is seeking residents’ views, are:

  • Further dimming, longer hours of dimming, or turning off street lights between certain hours
  • Reducing the number of times the grass is cut in rural and / or urban areas, or stopping grass cutting
  • Reducing the number of times a year that weeds are treated along the highway, or stopping weed killing

Each of these proposals could save the County Council between £50,000 and £200,000 per year.
Councillor Seán Woodward, Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council, said:

“Ongoing reductions in our funding from Government have meant we must continually look very carefully at where we focus our resources. We’ve come up with a set of proposals which include further dimming of street lights, less frequent cutting grass along the highway, and less frequent weed killing. We would very much like to hear what people think of these ideas, to help contribute towards the savings targets the County Council needs to make from its highways budget by 2017.

“Residents have told us, through the consultation we ran earlier this year, that they value highways maintenance. Therefore, these proposals do not affect the budgets currently allocated to the repair of the actual road or footway surfaces, nor safety related work and Operation Resilience – our long term approach to managing the network. With 5,280 miles of road across the county to look after, this requires a substantial resource, and it’s important we use the money we have in the most targeted, and cost effective way.”

Full details of the consultation and online response forms are available on the County Council’s webpages: hants.gov.uk/highwaysconsultation (no longer available). Alternatively, please call 0300 555 1388 for information, and to request a questionnaire in paper form.

The consultation period runs from Monday 2 November until Friday 11 December 2015.

A summary of the responses and analysis will be made available on the County Council’s website before any decisions are made by the Executive Lead Member for Economy, Transport and Environment on 19 January 2016.

Hampshire County Council, as the highway authority, has a duty to manage the road network to ensure, as far as possible, the safe and convenient movement of traffic and all road users. The County Council undertakes a wide range of activities to deliver this, including: carriageway and footway resurfacing, winter maintenance, drainage work to tackle flooding, street lighting, traffic management, signage, speed limits, crossings, trees, hedges and verges, traffic lights and emergencies.