HC Deb 08 November 1999 vol 337 cc388-9W
Mr. Jenkin

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what proportion of (a) motorways and (b) trunk roads are expected to have a residual life of (i) less than zero and (ii) zero to four years at the end of the current financial year. [97067]

Mr. Hill

[holding answer 2 November 1999]: I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Mr. Peter Nutt, to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Peter Nutt to Mr. Bernard Jenkin, dated 8 November 1999: You recently wrote to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions concerning the expected residual life of motorways and trunk roads. The Highways Agency has a target to ensure that the percentage of the trunk road network having zero residual life at the end of financial year 1999/2000 is less than the figure published in the 1998 report of the National Road Maintenance Condition Survey (NRMCS). This gives the proportion of Motorways and All-purpose trunk roads as 4.6 percent and 8.2 percent respectively. The Agency expects to achieve this target with the proportions being lower than the 1998 figures at the end of the current financial year. There is no specific target for the residual life band zero to four years in the Agency's Business Plan but the information will be published in the 1999 edition of the NRMCS report. The Agency expects that the proportions will not be significantly different to those quoted in the 1998 report. These state that 8.2 percent of Motorways and 7.2 percent of All-purpose trunk roads had a residual life of zero to four years. It is important to emphasise that residual life is only one of several indicators of road condition. A zero residual life indicates the onset of a less predictable deterioration pattern and the need for investigation. It does not necessarily indicate that the road is about to fail. I trust that this information is helpful.

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