The Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) has welcomed the launch of guidance on why asset management is the best way forward for highway maintenance funding.
Published jointly by the Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme (HMEP) and the UK Liaison Group (UKRLG), ‘Maintaining a vital asset’, makes the case to local councils for sustained investment in their road networks stating that they represent a council’s most valuable asset.
RSTA chief executive Howard Robinson (pictured) said: “Asset management has long been forwarded by the RSTA as the best way to deliver a well-maintained road network.
“The starting point for asset management is to first ascertain the worth of that asset. Here, local councils will find that out of all their assets, their road network has the highest worth.”
With asset management it is the service life, rather than the design life, of roads that is the key issue. The service life covers value-for-money, carbon footprint, performance and best maintenance solution. Integral to the calculation of service life is life cycle planning. This facilitates the development of the best overall strategy for asset management by enabling the calculation of the gross replacement cost, the annual depreciation and the annual running costs.
“This is essential for real budget planning”, adds Robinson. “Plus the provision of this basic information is useful in encouraging the examination of the best long-term maintenance approach.”
The RSTA has developed a library of best practice guidance for a wide range of road maintenance solutions. “The implementation of best practice is integral to ensuring long-term service life, which in turn, is integral to asset management”, explains Robinson. “The road network is a council’s most highly valued asset. This new guidance is welcomed as it demonstrates the economic benefits of asset management for roads.”