The Director of Environment and Communities submitted a report the purpose of which was s ubstantial investment was required in order to improve the footway network. The current FNS (Footway Network Survey) shows that of the 1.1million square meters of footway network in Middlesbrough 225,029 square meters, or 20.4% of the footway network, is rated at Red/Amber condition. It was therefore timely to re-evaluate the current financial investment approach to maintaining and improving footway assets, with a view to improving the condition of the footway/footpath network back to a publicly acceptable and manageable level.
Executive was therefore asked to approve a change in already agreed capital allocation to carriageway repairs and allocate £500k from the £1m agreed funding for 2022/23 to enable a number of footway scheme works to be carried out across all Wards on the Borough and to also enable the acceleration of a number of responsive maintenance repairs to identified footway defects which require isolated repairs rather than full reconstruction, in-line with the medium-term financial plan and allowing compliance with our Statutory requirements under the Highways Act 1980 to maintain our network and National Guidance on highway asset management.
The report outlined that the condition of Middlesbrough’s footway network was in decline, with 20.4% of the total footway/footpath network categorised as Red / Amber; those footways/footpaths in need of maintenance require:
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Reconstruction in flags
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Reconstruction in bituminous
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Reconstruction in concrete
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Relay blocks
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Lift and Relay flags
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Bituminous surface replacement
Repair methods focus on reconstructing sections of footway and / or responsive lift and relay of flagged footways, or removal of flags and tarmac replacement or ‘plane and patch’ on specific areas of failed footway surface.
Development of a strategy and forward work programme for the maintenance and improvements to footways has been carried out which has focussed on a re-evaluation of the approach to addressing and prioritising Red / Amber defects based on the parameters outlined below:
<![if !supportLists]>- <![endif]>Footways with structural and major defects
<![if !supportLists]>- <![endif]>Footways which feed major and large transport hubs e.g. bus station, train station, local centres
<![if !supportLists]>- <![endif]>Footways with a high number of complaints
<![if !supportLists]>- <![endif]>Footways with a high number of insurance claims
The existing process places schemes in yearly budgets, and the schemes prioritised into working areas with funding solely from the Councils annual CRSTS (City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement) allocation, which is funded from DfT and allocated by Tees Valley combined Authority, from which we usually allocate £500k per annum for footway schemes.
Other potential decision(s) and why these have not been recommended
<![if !supportLists]>1. <![endif]>Due to the significant levels of deterioration across the road network and the due diligence work undertaken as part of this report, no other options were considered.
During the meeting, the members in attendance asked for clarification on the budget allocated for the footway improvements and highways. This was addressed by the officers and they discussed the footpath scheme in every ward, which was also addressed in the report.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Approves the re-allocation of agreed capital investment to allow the accelerated programme of minor scheme works and responsive maintenance repairs.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Approves the programme of scheme works for 2022/23 as shown as Appendix 1
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Approves the remaining £249,399k to be allocated to responsive maintenance repairs
The decisions were approved by the following reason:
To provide the necessary detail to allow the Executive to make an informed decision based on need and impact, whilst ensuring that the service remains fit for purpose to best address the needs of the town.