Foreword and Executive Lead Statement by Cllr Mike Morey

As an elected member, I am often asked questions regarding decisions made on maintaining our highway network. This network is the most extensive and expensive asset maintained by the authority with a gross replacement cost valuation of over £700,000,000. In reviewing this latest published highway asset management strategy document and talking to engineers tasked with delivering this service, I can better appreciate many of the associated issues raised.

I hope that you too will be able to personally appreciate the thought processes and the efforts that are carried out, in order to keep our highway network as efficient and safe as practicable, within the resources available. This Strategy and its sister document Asset Management Policy do provide some of the answers.

I, therefore, am pleased to acknowledge the adoption of this Strategy with the expectation that it will address many of your questions and reassure you that the service is being delivered in an appropriate manner by a small but dedicated team of engineers.

Questions will of course continue to be levelled at members and officers frequently and will always receive a response. However, the publication of this ‘Strategy’ will hopefully address many of the issues that may concern you and the reading of these and indeed supporting plans and policy documents on our website are highly recommended.

Cllr Mike Morey
5 October 2021

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The purpose of our Highway Asset Management Team is to create customer value by operating a sustainable highway infrastructure system in such a way as to optimise the network condition within the available budgets.

Our vision is to be regarded as delivering the best all-around highway infrastructure management service in the United Kingdom. To achieve this our Infrastructure Asset Management Strategy sets out how we will deliver our Asset Management Policy. 

Our asset management policy is to develop and maintain safe, efficient, coordinated and affordable highway infrastructure systems that sustainably serve the needs of our customers and optimise the long-term benefits for our leaders. We shall comply with all legal, regulatory and environmental requirements placed upon us and will not compromise the safety of our employees, our contractors or the public.

The Asset Management Policy shall be achieved through the operation of a co-ordinated end to end asset management system that:

  • Produces an Asset Management Strategy, with objectives and performance targets that are consistent with our business priorities.
  • Considers the complete lifecycle of our assets to develop investment plans that are sustainable, efficient and based upon an optimised consideration of cost, risk and performance.
  • Develops a resource/training strategy aligned with the requirement of the investment plans.
  • Ensures the efficient execution of our plans and fulfilment of our customer promises.
  • Tracks delivery of our asset management objectives and targets and reviews the achievement of their intended benefits.
  • Integrates with and complements our risk, health and safety, environmental and quality management system requirements; and
  • Incorporates regular audits and formal management reviews designed to seek and implement continual improvement.

All members, employees and contractors shall comply with this policy and contribute towards the continuous improvement of the asset management system.

The authority will provide sufficient information, training and resources to enable this to be achieved.

This Infrastructure Asset Management Strategy, whilst sharing many of the processes contained in the Corporate Asset Management Strategy, has been developed wholly to deal with the Highway Infrastructure Asset and should be read with this in mind.

UKRLG Well Managed Highway Infrastructure Recommendations

The 2016 UKRLG Well Managed Highway Infrastructure is the current code of practice and outlines how we should tackle the challenges of Highway Maintenance using Asset Management. In the Code of Practice, there are 36 key recommendations that are described and should be met to ensure that the authority is committing to 'best practice'.

Recommendation from Code of Practice - Use of the code

This Code, in conjunction with the UKRLG Highway Infrastructure Asset Management Guidance, should be used as the starting point against which to develop, review and formally approve highway infrastructure maintenance policy and to identify and formally approve the nature and extent of any variations.

We have outlined these 36 recommendations throughout this document, their relevance to our practices of Asset Management and how we are compliant with the Code of Practice.

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Aim of the strategy

We recognise that effective and efficient management of the existing infrastructure is a key factor in our ability to deliver key services. The 'Highway' which is managed by the service forms the largest and most valuable public asset within our control, with a gross value in excess of £0.7 billion. This strategy is key to achieving the Asset Management Policies aims of managing the highway asset to the best standard to the budget and ensuring that new infrastructure would meet our needs and be able to be maintained.

Our vision is to be a high performing and adaptable authority with a 'fit for future' vision as outlined in the 'Community and Corporate Plan'. Using the currently allotted resources to secure good public services got all and to be a strong and effective community leader. This vision translates into our core values:

  • Forward-thinking
  • People orientated
  • Adaptable
  • Integrity

The provision, maintenance and management of public infrastructures such as highways, bridges, public rights of way, public open spaces and coastal assets are key drivers in the delivery of these values. The key service provider for our highways service is SWISCO, a wholly-owned subsidiary company, which will be providing key maintenance duties for the Highways Authority.

Asset Management is by definition 'forward-thinking', customer considerations are part of being 'people orientated', decision-makers looking after this asset need to be adaptable and to exercise integrity with difficult choices.

The current level of funding for maintaining the most valuable asset in Torbay is under extreme constant pressure. The management needs to be undertaken in a considerate manner that takes into account maintenance needs and financial resources. These considerations must then be balanced against the potential risks which include service failure and the subsequent demands on the same public finances for damage and liability claims.

Recommendations from the Code of Practice

  • Climate change adaptation - The effects of extreme weather events on highway infrastructure assets should be risk assessed and ways to mitigate the impacts of the highest risks identified.
  • Carbon - The impact of highway infrastructure maintenance activities in terms of whole life carbon costs should be taken into account when determining appropriate interventions, materials and treatments.
  • Environmental impact, nature conservation and biodiversity - Materials, products and treatments for highway infrastructure maintenance should be appraised for environmental impact and for wider issues of sustainability. Highway verges, trees and landscaped areas should be managed with regard to their nature conservation value and biodiversity principles as well as whole-life costing, highway safety and serviceability. 

Torbay is currently in a 'Climate Emergency' state and recognises the threat of climate change in the corporate risk register and the Community and Corporate plan.

This strategy is aligned with the Corporate and Community Plan, which outlines how the company will attempt to tackle the climate emergency. This strategy contributes ideas on how to reduce carbon emissions associated with street lighting and make more use of recycling techniques when treating highways

All stakeholders such as; elected members, managers, decision-makers and customers alike need to be fully aware of the conflicting demands on maintaining this asset within the limitations of the existing financial situation.

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This strategy is applicable to all public infrastructure that we have commissioned to be managed and maintained by our wholly-owned company, SWISCo as part of the Highways, Fleet and Transport service; it also links into other service areas such as public open spaces, street lighting and traffic light systems.

Relationship to other documents

The Asset Management Strategy is just one integral part of a wider set of documents that cover Highways Maintenance.

The Infrastructure Asset Management Policy and Strategy are linked by their relationship to the other Highway Manuals and Documents and the wider Council Policies.

The Infrastructure Asset Management Strategy is aligned with corporate policies and the HMEP Well Managed Highway Infrastructure Code of Practice.

The joint policy and strategy which encompass our Asset Management Documents will be updated at 3 to 5 year intervals where required. The below diagram explains how we have aligned the aims of the Asset Management Policy with those of the Community and Corporate Plan.

Community and Corporate Plan aims

  • Thriving people - the people of Torbay will have a good quality of life with access to excellent schools, affordable housing and great local amenities. We will promote good mental and physical health by providing early help.
  • Thriving economy - economic growth is essential if we are to turn the tide on poverty in Torbay. We will capitalise on Torbay's strengths to create more opportunities for better paid jobs and stimulate economic growth to create change that benefits everyone who lives here.
  • Tackling climate change - we recognise that environmental sustainability must influence everything we do. The benefits of taking action on climate change and protecting our environment (for instance for health, the economy and our communities) means it must be part of our core approach.
  • Council fit for the future - we will fundamentally change the way in which we communicate and engage with all residents, including our young people. We will strengthen our relationships within the community and across our partnerships, including ensuring that our plans align.

Infrastructure Asset Management Policy aims

  • Effective management of current assets and ensuring that newly constructed assets receive the management and maintenance they require.
  • Develop and adapt to new working strategies.
  • Plan for maintenance using a risk-based approach, which includes a comprehensive register of assets.
  • Provide consistent management with consideration to neighbouring authorities.
  • Using clear and concise information, communicate future planning and risk to all stakeholders.
  • Use lifecycle planning tools to effectively manage assets through data and financial planning.

Recommendation from the Code of Practice

  • Asset Management Policy and Strategy - An asset management policy and a strategy should be developed and published. These should align with the corporate vision and demonstrate the contribution asset management makes towards achieving this vision.

We have developed both an Infrastructure Asset Management Policy and Strategy in line with the guidance.

The Community and Corporate Plan sits at the top, as we align our working principles with those found in that document, and then we have our two Asset Management Documents, a Policy and a Strategy, and then our manuals/plans which outline how we undertake maintenance based on the specific asset or service.

Using the recommendations set out in the Well Managed Highway Infrastructure Guidance, we are clearly displaying how our policies and plans are related. The Community and Corporate Plan 2019-2023 sits at the top, as we align our working principles with those found in that document, and then we have our two Asset Management Documents, a Policy and a Strategy, and then our manuals/plans which outline how we undertake maintenance based on the specific asset or service.

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Strategy Statement

We believe that effective asset management is fundamental to the delivery of its services and the delivery of its long-term vision and strategy. Asset Management principles enable informed decisions to be made about investment and maintenance funding; assist in the targeting of resources to where they can be most effective and enables the identification and management of the risks associated with its statutory duties to manage and maintain public infrastructure.

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Strategy Detail

In adopting an Asset Management approach to the maintenance of our entire infrastructure we will be implementing a methodology that includes:

  • A systematic approach that takes a long-term view.
  • The consideration of the whole of life costs of maintaining an asset.
  • The explicit consideration of customer expectations and defined levels of service.
  • The optimisation and prioritisation of works based on assessed needs derived from the defined levels of service.
  • The use of lifecycle planning to inform the optimal treatment at each stage of the assets life.

The implementation of a formalised approach enables better decision making, which takes into account the relationship between cost and performance. This in turn allows the potential for the delivery of an improved level of service for the resources available, or where owing to budgetary constraints, it can assist in ensuring that the effects of a reduction in the level of service are managed, through the efficient deployment of available resources, such that risks are identified, balanced and mitigated in so far as is possible.

Our priorities for maintaining this asset with the current levels of funding will be:

  • Prioritise the A & B road network that carries the higher levels of traffic
  • Use preventative maintenance treatments on roads that are still in a condition to benefit from these.
  • Maintain modern estate roads in accordance with lifecycle planning guidance with periodic preventative intervention at the optimum times.
  • Use allocated DFT funding on preventative treatments of older estate roads to reduce further pothole proliferation and to seal vulnerable unbound road formations.
  • Target worst first responses at shorter lengths of affected carriageways pending more suitable funding opportunities.

Recommendation from the Code of Practice

  • Inspections - A risk-based inspection regime, including regular safety inspections, should be developed, and implemented for all highway assets.

Highways Inspections are an operational priority and provide one of the key aspects of data to ensure service delivery. This data collected during inspection can be used for identifying areas of high reactive works which can be considered for a permanent form of repair or resurfacing.

The recording of low-risk defects can allow future tracking of potential maintenance issues in the future and also be used as a mechanism for the defence of legal claims.

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Recommendation from the Code of Practice 

  • Engaging and communication with stakeholders - Relevant information should be actively communicated through engagement with relevant stakeholders in setting requirements, making decisions and reporting performance.

Highways recognise the need for and importance of stakeholder communication.

Recommendation from the Code of Practice 

  • Communications - Severe Weather and Civil Emergencies Plans should incorporate a communications plan to ensure that information including weather and flood forecasts are received through agreed channels and that information is disseminated to highway users through a range of media.

One key aspect of Asset Management planning and strategy is the authority's communication of key information to the relevant stakeholders. We operate a Communication Standards Policy, which outlines the use of communication systems within the company. We also have a corporate communications team for Torbay Council and SWISCo, and they may use appropriate forms of communication to relay information to the public or stakeholders.

Communication of information is conducted through several means, policies are published on this website or through public announcements, whereas more reactive information can be communicated through more appropriate means such as email or via social media.

We recognise the need to undertake the correct level of communication and complies in the following ways.

  • NHT Surveys; These are undertaken bi-annually and are conducted through NHT themselves; the results are collected and are published as part of this document.
  • Condition Data: Condition data is collected yearly as part of our contract with WDM to collect and assess the condition of the Highway and allow us to collect and publish this data as required.
  • Resurfacing Sites; We collect sites that are in consideration for resurfacing and this list is published as part of this document.
  • Yearly resurfacing schemes: Yearly schemes for surfacing are submitted to our street works team for scheduling considerations and then published on the website.

This strategy will be made available on our website alongside the other parts of the associated documentation under Highways Policies.

We recognise the need for communicating with stakeholders, the methods of communication are outlined in the Communication, Consultation and Engagement Strategy.

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Asset Management Framework

One of the key aspects of delivering the Infrastructure Asset Management Policy is the Framework that is based on the recommendations made within the 2016 'HMEP Well-managed highway infrastructure' code of practice. The framework provides a summary of all the required activities and processes that are necessary to develop, implement and then improve our approach to asset Management.

The Infrastructure Asset Management Strategy document together with its partner document 'Infrastructure Asset Management Policy' sits within a wider asset management framework and forms a link between Community and Corporate Plan and objectives and associated service and operational plans such as the Highway Maintenance Manual, Transport Asset Management Plan, Safety Inspection Manual and other similar documents.

The responsibility for the delivery of this asset management framework sits within The Place directorate with the services commission from SWISCo as the authority's agent.

Context for the Asset Management Framework

The context for the framework outlines the factors that need to be considered when measuring the council's need for highways services and appropriate delivery. The 5 key factors for defining the context are:

  • National Transport Policy: These policies are created by central and local government and define how we undertake maintenance and some of the larger constraints and aims we are bound to.
  • Corporate Policies: Our corporate policies help define our goals as a corporate entity
  • Stakeholders expectations: What is expected from us, by the stakeholders, and in this case, open communication, safe highway network and abiding by applying the guidance we have been given.
  • Financial Constraints: What is expected from us from financing and budgetary standpoints.
  • Highways Policies: Our policies are suited for Highway Maintenance and outline how we undertake delivery of the highway service.
  • Legal Constraints: What is expected from us from a legal standpoint, what we are duty bound to do by law.


This defines the key activities that are undertaken by us as part of the planning and implementation of Asset Management.


'Enablers' can be defined as 'a series of activities that support the implementation of the Asset management Policy and Framework'. They provide a means of defining leadership and the whole department adoption of asset management culture, developing and implementing the ability to effectively communicate and collaborate with all associated stakeholders; the development of staff, and future CPD implementation and a strategy for use of asset management systems, future benchmarking and measuring continuous improvement.


The delivery aspect of the framework outlines how the highway service will be delivered, this is taking into account our new service delivery company SWISCo.

Recommendation from the Code of Practice 

  • Asset Management Framework (AMF) - An AMF should be developed and endorsed by senior decision-makers. All activities outlined in the Framework should be documented (HIAMG Recommendation 1).

We have developed an Asset Management Framework (below) in line with the HMEP 2013 Guidance. The current 2016 Well Maintained Highway Infrastructure makes no recommendations for framework design, however, neighbouring authorities use the templated framework as guidance, and Recommendation 5 of the Well Managed Highway Infrastructure Code of Practice states; 'To ensure that users’ reasonable expectations for consistency are taken into account, the approach of other local and strategic highway and transport authorities, especially those with integrated or adjoining networks'.

  • National Transport Policy
    • Government Transport Policy
    • Local Highways Maintenance Funding 2021+
    • HMEP Well Managed Highway Infrastructure
  • Corporate policies
    • Community and Corporate Plan
    • Corporate Asset Management Plan
    • Highways Policies
  • Stakeholders expectations
    • Open communication on highways strategy
    • Provision of a safe and well managed highway network
    • HMEP Well Managed Highway Infrastructure
  • Financial constraints
    • Central Government funding
    • Local Government revenue funding
    • Central Government bidding
  • Legal constraints
    • Legal obligations
    • Highways enforcement
    • Highways legal claims
  • Highways Policies
    • Highways Maintenance Manual
    • Winter Service and Emergency Manual
    • Highway Risk-based Manual
Asset Management Planning
  • Policy
    • Publishing commitment to Infrastructure Asset Management
    • How we make the link between our objectives and asset management objectives
    • Our commitment to having the best network condition for the investment
  • Strategy
    • How we implement the policy
    • How we will use our Asset Management Framework
    • Planning and monitoring performance and continuous improvement
  • Performance
    • Our performance management framework
    • Measuring performance for our levels of services
    • Improving performance indicator measures and targets
  • Data
    • Our corporate data management strategy
    • Our data collection programme
    • Maintaining and improving our asset register
  • Lifecycle planning
    • Our lifecycle plans
    • Improving our efficiency when it comes to lifecycle planning
    • Considerations towards new technology or methods for renewing assets
  • Works programmes
    • Identifying suitable schemes using quantified information
    • Informed forward planning of schemes
Asset Management Enablers
  • Leadership and organisation
    • Whole leadership and team show commitment to asset management pronciples
    • Clearly defined organisational structure
  • Communications
    • List of know stakeholders
    • Clearly defined communication strategy
  • Competency, training and accreditation
    • Skills matrix
    • Continuing professional development plans for all staff
    • Continuos team development
  • Risk management
    • Corporate risk register
    • Risk management processes
  • Asset management system
    • A practical strategy for procuring and developing asset management systems
  • Performance monitoring
    • Prearranged reviews of all policies and frameworks
    • Key aims for identifying improved performance
  • Benchmarks
    • Prearranged method of comparing performance with neighbouring authorities
    • How we utilise and distribute results from NHT
    • How we can measure year on year performance
  • Service delivery options
    • To improve overall asset conditions
    • To promote economic growth
    • To reduce incidents and third party claims
    • To provide value for money for services
    • To promote local engagement with stakeholders
  • Contract delivery objectives
    • Customer-focused objectives
    • Operational delivery objectives
    • Sustainability objectives
    • Key safety objectives
    • Asset objectives

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The Asset Management Approach

Our vision for Asset Management recognises the following themes:

  • Scope: The Asset Management Plan is primarily to optimise the maintenance of the entire network. The asset encompasses all areas of the adopted highway and public rights of way within the boundary of Torbay.
  • Strategic approach: a systematic process that takes a long-term view.
  • Whole of life: the whole of life/lifecycle of an asset is considered.
  • Optimisation: maximising benefits by balancing competing demands.
  • Resource allocation: allocation of resources based on assessed needs.
  • Customer focus: explicit consideration of customer’s expectations.

However, in adopting the principles of Asset Management it should be noted that the primary drivers in decision-making processes depend on a detailed knowledge of the extent of the highway inventory and in particular its overall condition, but also that customer satisfaction must be considered within the end product.

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Inventory and Data Management

Recommendation from the Code of Practice 

  • Network inventory - A detailed inventory or register of highway assets, together with information on their scale, nature and use, should be maintained. The nature and extent of inventory collected should be fit for purpose and meet business needs. Where data or information held is considered sensitive, this should be managed in a security minded way.

Current Asset Data

The inventory data is contained in the Highway Maintenance Plan and Transport Asset Plan. It includes the following:

  • 530 kilometres of roads
  • 20 kilometres of green lanes
  • 817 kilometres of footways
  • 77 kilometres of public footpaths
  • 460,000 sqm of grass verges and shrubberies
  • 22,000 no. road gullies
  • 14,000+ Street Lighting Units
  • 4,000+ Associated Lighting Units

Other unmeasured highway inventory assets include:

  • Seats
  • Shelters
  • Bridges
  • Retaining Walls
  • Unlit Road Signs

Recommendation from Code of Practice

  • Minimising clutter - Opportunities to simplify signs and other street furniture and to remove redundant items should be taken into account when planning highway infrastructure maintenance activities.

Considerations towards maintenance and lifecycle planning of a mixed range of assets should take into consideration whether an asset not only needs renewal or replacing, but whether an asset is still providing a vital function to the Highway and the users. A common issue as developments take place is that assets become outdated and cost money to maintain and renew. Lifecycle Planning should include a cost-benefit analysis when it comes to replacing expensive assets.

Recommendation from Code of Practice

  • Heritage assets - Authorities should identify a schedule of listed structures, ancient monuments and other relevant assets and work with relevant organisations to ensure that maintenance reflects planning requirements.

Historical or specialist assets should be recorded where possible and include a register of parts that make up the whole asset so that repairs or maintenance can be arranged quickly. These assets should also be taken into consideration when writing maintenance contracts or seeking new suppliers.

Recommendation from Code of Practice

  • Network hierarchy - A network hierarchy, or a series of related hierarchies, should be defined which include all elements of the highway network, including carriageways, footways, cycle routes, structures, lighting and rights of way. The hierarchy should take into account current and expected use, resilience, and local economic and social factors such as industry, schools, hospitals and similar, as well as the desirability of continuity and of a consistent approach for walking and cycling.
Current Hierarchy Database
Class 2009 2020
A Class 45.2lm 46.4km
B Class 8.4km 8.6km
C Class 49.7km 57.1km
U Class 419km 418.4km
Total 522.3km 530.5km

We hold information on various assets on a number of different platforms. These asset databases are being logged on a single common platform and will provide individual layers on the our GIS mapping system. Currently, we operate 3 key highways management systems in the form of:

  • Symology GIS/QGIS
  • Mayrise Highways
  • WDM Webservice UKPM and WDM WIP

Recommendation from Code of Practice

  • Asset management systems (AMS) - AMS should be sustainable and able to support the information required to enable asset management. Systems should be accessible to relevant staff and, where appropriate, support the provision of information for stakeholders.

However, as part of the new service delivery with our new term maintenance contractor, the procurement of a new complete Works/Asset Management system is currently being undertaken. We recognise the importance of Data Management and is striving to improve this with the procurement of a new system.

Recommendation from Code of Practice

  • Management systems and claims - Records should be kept of all activities, particularly safety and other inspections, including the time and nature of any response, and procedures established to ensure efficient management of claims whilst protecting the authority from unjustified or fraudulent claims.

Yotta Mayrise Highways is our current Management system for inspections, defect risk recording, reporting and works management.

Whilst most highway inventory data is already recorded in this manner, other infrastructure assets are being assimilated as resources permit.

Recommendation from Code of Practice 

  • An integrated network

The highway network should be considered as an integrated set of assets when developing highway infrastructure maintenance policies. We have comprehensive inspection and survey schedules, tailored to specific assets, taking into account the national guidance and codes of practice. These regimes are documented in the relevant maintenance manuals and will be updated in line with changes in national guidance.

Recommendation from Code of Practice

  • Cross asset priorities - In developing priorities and programmes, consideration should be given to prioritising across asset groups as well as within them.

We recognise the importance of prioritising asset groups based on priority and future planning, for example, our yearly surface dressing scheme takes sites that are not only deteriorated but also sites that are reaching the maximum designed lifespan of the material used previously.

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Levels of Service

Levels of service are a means of describing the standard of service that is provided or required. The development of Levels of Service must reflect organisational constraints. While it may be possible to influence and reduce some of these, many will remain as permanent restrictions. These will include:

  • Inadequate or unpredictable financial resources – the desired level of service may not be achievable
  • Resource constraints – if financial constraints are removed it still may not be possible to resource short term fixes
  • Procurement constraints – again a consideration if finance is not a factor
  • Political constraints – this may affect the availability of funding

If whole life costings are to be rigidly implemented, it may lead to the appearance that roads that ‘seem to be OK’ take precedence over some residential roads that are in serious need of repair.

The actual Levels of Service provided are analysed within the Highway Asset Management Plan. Contributing data used includes annual condition surveys, bi-annual customer satisfaction surveys, review of structural maintenance schemes within available funding levels and recorded levels of reactive maintenance and customer reports. Taken together, these will allow a direction of travel to be identified.

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Lifecycle Planning

Lifecycle Planning is a mechanism which enables links to be made between a particular asset, levels of service, current condition, maintenance needs and funding provisions.

The diagram below shows the lifecycle of a carriageway comparing conditions against time. In this example, there is also a direct relationship between the forecast condition and the costs of the suggested treatments. The optimum intervention treatment would be to carry out the lower cost preventative treatments at suitable time intervals thus enabling the carriageway condition to remain in a good stable condition. The worst-case cost scenario is to allow the asset to deteriorate to a point where the only option is an expensive replacement treatment.

The lifecycle of a carriageway comparing condition against time

Recommendation from Code of Practice

  • Consistency with character - Determination of materials, products and treatments for the highway network should take into account the character of the area as well as factoring in whole life costing and sustainability. The materials, products and treatments used for highway maintenance should meet requirements for effectiveness and durability.

The best-case scenario requires that adequate funding is available for the optimum treatments at the time that these are still applicable. Missing these preventative treatments due to inadequate funding provision leads to the gradual decline in overall network conditions and this is not sustainable in the long term.

The introduction of Whole of Government Accounts set out in the CIPFA Code for Transport Infrastructure Assets will provide evidence of the need to fund timely maintenance interventions. In the meantime, most highway authorities are limited to seeing a damage limitation approach being applied to their highway assets. Future monetary depreciation of the highway asset will appear in an authority’s financial balance sheet. This will make informed investment strategies and suitable budget allocation even more necessary.

Recommendation from Code of Practice

  • Condition surveys - An asset condition survey regime, based on asset management needs and any statutory reporting requirements, should be developed and implemented.

Condition Surveys are currently undertaken on a yearly scheme, by an accredited surveyor. This data can be used to produce reports on carriageway depreciation and the data can be used for lifecycle planning.

Recommendation from Code of Practice

  • Lifecycle planning - Lifecycle planning principles should be used to review the level of funding, support investment decisions and substantiate the need for appropriate and sustainable long-term investment.

Our current predicted trend in the overall condition of their unclassified local road network, based on carriageway data (which is 70% of the entire value of the transport infrastructure) is in the diagram/table below. They are taken directly from our Asset Management Plan and was derived from the toolkit provided within the CIPFA Code for Transport Infrastructure Assets. It is based on the currently predicted budgetary provisions.

Percentage distribution of asset in condition bands
Condition 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030
Very Poor 6% 9% 11% 14% 16% 20% 22% 25% 29% 31%
Poor 16% 20% 21% 24% 25% 25% 26% 25% 23% 22%
Fine 33% 27% 26% 21% 19% 16% 16% 12% 11% 11%
Good 17% 17% 15% 14% 13% 12% 11% 10% 10% 9%
Very Good 28% 27% 27% 27% 27% 27% 27% 27% 27% 27%
Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 102% 99% 100% 100%
Graph showing the predicted trend in the overall condition of their unclassified local road network. Please contact us if you would like this information in a different format.

Recommendation from Code of Practice

  • Whole life/Designing for maintenance - Authorities should take whole life costs into consideration when assessing options for maintenance, new and improved highway schemes. The future maintenance costs of such new infrastructure are therefore a prime consideration.

We recognise the need for whole life planning, in both the considerations for highway improvements and future housing development.

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Works Programmes

Recommendations from Code of Practice

  • Works programming - A prioritised forward works programme for a rolling period of three to five years should be developed and updated regularly.
  • Financial plans - Financial plans should be prepared for all highway maintenance activities covering short, medium and long term time horizons.

Works Programming and forward planning is currently difficult to the limited funding announcements. There will be a top 50 or 100 sites listed on the webpage. However, these will be worst first sites, actual programmes depend on other sites being able to receive preventative treatments. These may be identified and recorded but are also reliant on the availability of specialist contractors. Surface dressing sites will be based on SCRIM testing results or if the previous dressing is nearing the end of serviceability.

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Risk Management

Managing risk is an integral part of managing our transport assets. All activities from management, identification and prioritisation of works to the establishment of budgets have risks associated with them. These risks need managing. The assessment of comparative risk is therefore a key asset management tool. It can be used at a tactical level within the asset management process, to assist with option appraisal and selection, via assessment of the comparative risks of:

  • Providing differing levels of service.
  • Funding works on different assets; or
  • Funding network improvements as opposed to maintenance works.

Recommendations from Code of Practice

  • Risk-based approach - A risk-based approach should be adopted for all aspects of highway infrastructure maintenance, including setting levels of service, inspections, responses, resilience, priorities and programmes.
  • Information management - Information to support a risk-based approach to highway maintenance should be collected, managed and made available in ways that are sustainable, secure, meet any statutory obligations, and, where appropriate, facilitate transparency for network users.
  • Defect repair - A risk-based defect repair regime should be developed and implemented for all highway assets.

Torbay Council recognises that a Risk-Based approach to all aspects of the Highway Service. This is demonstrated in our other policies and manuals, which have been published on the Torbay Council website, and have been recently updated to meet the new corporate template standard. The key policies and manuals which are referenced here can be found on the Highways policies pages.

Recommendation from Code of Practice

  • Risk management - The management of current and future risks associated with assets should be embedded within the approach to asset management. Strategic, tactical and operational risks should be included as should appropriate mitigation measures.

High-risk assets are collated and recorded in the Corporate Risk Register, which is collected and published every quarter. These risks will be tackled with a degree of urgency, and where required, requests or bids to Central Government may be considered. The first part of reducing risk is to make an asset or structure safe, increase safety and reduce the impact of failure.

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Resilient Network

The resilient network was designed as a sub-area or strategic routes of the Torbay Highway Network that are vital to maintaining economic activity and access to essential services during either extreme weather evens or major incidents.

The resilient network is comprised of the key A, B and C classified routes, and some linking U Class routes, taking into consideration access for emergency services.

Recommendation from Code of Practice

  • Resilient network - Within the highway network hierarchy, a 'Resilient Network' should be identified to which priority is given through maintenance and other measures to maintain economic activity and access to key services during extreme weather.

Recommendation from Code of Practice

  • Learning from events - Severe Weather and Civil Emergencies Plans should be regularly rehearsed and refined as necessary. The effectiveness of the Plans should be reviewed after actual events and the learning used to develop them as necessary.

The resilient network is reviewed as part of our winter service pre-season meeting, as the minimum provision route for winter aligns well with minimum service delivery across the network.

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Performance Monitoring and Strategy Review

The maintenance and management of public infrastructure have been undertaken for many years and in drafting this strategy we have identified and taken note of all likely risks and performance issues.

We recognise the need for development, measurement and strive for continually increased performance. Our progress as an authority will be reviewed against the principles outlined in this plan, and formal reviews of this strategy, policy and plan will be undertaken at 3 to 5 yearly intervals.

Recommendation from Code of Practice

  • Performance management framework - A performance management framework should be developed that is clear and accessible to stakeholders as appropriate and supports the asset management strategy.
A diagram showing how data management, risk management, policies and strategies relate to one another. If you need this information in another format please contact us.

The above diagram shows how the key aspects of data management, risk management and the policy and strategy underpin performance management. As an authority we should encourage a culture of continuous improvement, and by understanding what the aims of the service are, and what is expected of us by our stakeholders, we can seek to use quantifiable data to measure and aim for improvement across our assets and services.

Recommendation from Code of Practice

  • Performance monitoring - The performance of the Asset Management Framework should be monitored and reported. It should be reviewed regularly by senior decision makers and when appropriate, improvement actions should be taken.

As part of these reviews, the Infrastructure Asset Policy and Strategy should be circulated to relevant stakeholders, and reviewed by the appropriate Portfolio Holder, our senior leadership manager and reviewed by the elected cabinet. This Policy and Strategy was designed with a five-year lifecycle in mind and should be next considered for review in 2026.

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Breaches and non-compliance

Non-compliance with this strategy may leave the Council in a position where it is not able to discharge its statutory duty to maintain and lead to a deterioration of the value and condition of publicly owned infrastructure.

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Information and training

Further information concerning this strategy may be obtained from the Highways, Transport and Fleet Team within SWISCo. Training should be reviewed at regular intervals or where required in the delivery of the service,

Recommendation from Code of Practice

  • Competencies and training - The appropriate competencies for all staff should be identified. Training should be provided where necessary for directly employed staff, and contractors should be required to provide evidence of the appropriate competencies of their staff.

As part of our compliance with HEMP Guidance, we currently have two 'Institute of Asset Management' Asset Management trained members of staff. All staff are encouraged to request and submit training aspirations, as well as Torbay Council and SWISCo undertaking regular appraisals with staff, whereby managers can identify skill gaps and career development opportunities.

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Evaluation and review

This strategy is designed with a five-year lifespan in mind, however, it may be reviewed at other intervals where legislation, systems and tools are developed.

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