Agenda item

Highways Capital Programme

To consider the Highway’s Capital Programme report prepared by the Environment and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Panel to inform the Commission’s scrutiny of the 2022/23 budget proposals.


The Commission considered the report from the Environment and Communities Panel which had met to gain a stronger understanding of the Highways and Transport Capital Programme, particularly in areas such as funding, processes and prioritisation. The meeting was carried out in preparation for the review of the budget by discussing the programme with Bracknell Forest Council’s Executive Director: Place, Planning and Regeneration and the Assistant Director: Highways and Transport.


There were seven key findings from the Panel as set out in the report. There were no recommendations arising from the meeting as the Panel were content that the methodology for identifying areas of concerns was sound and acknowledged that the funding received from central government was ringfenced. The Panel recognised that whilst highway maintenance was considered underfunded, the pressures within the Council meant that it was not possible to increase this element of the budget. 


Arising from the discussion the following points were made:

  • It was observed that the quality of the road network appeared to be deteriorating and the cost of rebuilding roads was higher than maintaining them. It was explained that the maintenance programme was prioritised on a risk basis therefore some roads or structures required rebuilding  but wherever possible the life of roads would be extended using techniques such as grip fibre programme to recoat the roads.
  • A new Highways Asset Maintenance Plan was being developed and based on the funding available, intervention works or rebuilding would be considered for the roads and structures identified as a priority. This was reviewed annually.
  • Ringway was the Council’s highways contractor and working with them the Council looked to deliver innovation projects such as using greener products which were better for the environment. It was explained that such technologies needed to be tested over time to ensure that they were durable for the lifespan of the repair required.
  • ACTION: Executive Director: Place, Planning and Regeneration to update the Commission on whether new materials containing recycled plastic were being used within the programme
  • Potholes could be reported through Customer Services and their repair would then be scheduled on a priority basis. The Council uses a system called ‘Scanner’ to survey the roads to assess if there were failings in the road structure, cracks and this information was used to build the profile of the network.
  • ACTION: In response to a query regarding new pothole filling technology the Executive Director: Place, Planning and Regeneration would clarify the current method for filling potholes used by the contractors
  • It was confirmed that local roads within estates were a lower priority from a safety and risk perspective due to the lower volume of traffic using those roads. The grip fibre programme which is a top dressing to bring roads up to a reasonable level and extend the life of the road is a regular feature in the Council’s annual programme.
  • A mixture of approaches was used to fund the improvement and maintain cycle lanes. Through Section 106 monies the cycle network was extended to fix connections whilst some government funding was received for alternative modes of transport.
  • The existing cycle network would not require modifications for escooter use but further thought may be required on the etiquette of using them.

The Commission Chair thanked the Panel for their input to the session, for helping to produce the informative paper which would form an important part of understanding the budget consultation. 


The Commission noted the Panel’s Highways and Transport Capital Programme report.

Supporting documents: