Essex roads in good condition
The vast majority of Essex’s roads remain in good condition across the county, the results of the annual Essex highways road condition survey show.
Essex County Council manages and maintains more than 5,000 miles of roads, excluding major trunk routes such as the A12, M11, M25 and A120.
Essex’s county road condition data is collected from scanner surveys conducted over the summer months and then analysed during the autumn. Specially adapted vehicles drive every route using laser beam technology to scan the road surface and record even minor defects.
This provides a far more accurate picture of true road condition than simply counting potholes and is done to Department for Transport (DfT) standards. Essex, uniquely, publishes these results, analysed by district and road hierarchy.
The data is used to help determine and prioritise future highway maintenance work and is reported annually to the DfT to measure national road conditions.
Between just 2% and 3% of the county’s Priority 1 and 2 routes, the main roads connecting communities in Essex, require structural maintenance – the same proportion as a year ago. This is a marked improvement over the 2013 level when 6% required attention.
On the local roads, the picture is more mixed. Considerable improvements have been recorded in Basildon, Colchester and Brentwood districts, for example, although some deterioration was seen in Uttlesford, Maldon and Braintree.
Councillor Rodney L Bass, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, said: “The overall results are better than expected, even though some local roads have seen fluctuations district by district, which is an area of concern.
“Most deterioration has been seen in some of our more rural districts, which could indicate that rural roads are perhaps an area for concern.
Councillor Eddie Johnson, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways Delivery, added: “The results will be very useful for planning future road programmes, although they do not fully reflect the considerable work undertaken during the summer and autumn, subsequent to the scanner survey. Much also depends on the severity of the weather during the coming winter.
“It is clear, however, that our continued investment in highway improvements is benefitting both commercial and domestic road users.”
Essex County Council’s decision to give priority to maintaining and upgrading the main roads also has a tangible benefit for the county’s business community, especially as many rely on good transport links to and from the region’s ports, airports and trunk roads.
21 December 2015