Why have a resilient highways network?
The effects of climate change mean that extreme weather events are expected to become more frequent. Our climate in the UK is projected to change, bringing increasingly extreme weather, including heavier rain, more flooding and heat waves. Whatever we do now to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, some of these future changes to our weather will be unavoidable due to our earlier emissions. We need to prepare for this increased level of extreme weather events.
Local authorities can have an important role in helping communities prepare for climate change. Many road improvements require long-term planning, making it even more important for local authorities to start planning now for future climate change. There is government funding that we can access to help make these preparations.
In order to maintain funding from the government’s Department for Transport 'Incentive Fund', local highway authorities need to complete an annual self-assessment questionnaire, including 'Resilience'. In order to be considered a top-level highway authority and retain our government funding, we must show that we have a 'Resilient Highways Network' in place which is reviewed at least every two years.
Funding would allow us to help minimise the affect of adverse events by prioritising faster repairs after an incident and also ongoing road maintenance. This would reduce the impact of any bad weather and allow residents, businesses and emergency services to get back to normal as quickly as possible.
We have developed a project plan so that our funding bid for 2018 / 2019 (to be submitted in February 2018) will indicate that we are classed as a top-level highway authority.