Assessment model for councils to show economic benefits of highway maintenance now available

Highway departments are being urged to take advantage of a new assessment tool that has shown how investment in road maintenance can generate a real economic return.

Economic impacts from specifying different road network maintenance treatment scenarios can be assessed using the Highways Maintenance Economic Assessment (HMEA) tool and HMEA Collator, which will be available on the UKRLG website, according to the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT).

Outputs can include an estimate of impacts to aGVA (approximate Gross Value Added – the total output of an economy), Value Added Tax, income tax, National Insurance Contributions and employment, as well as the impact to users of the road network over a given analysis period.

In addition the tool includes an option to calculate the benefit from the network – in terms of accident, travel time and carbon emission reductions – if travel behaviour changes and traffic uses an alternative network, said the CIHT.

The UKRLG’s Asset Management Board, with financial support from the Department for Transport, Welsh Government and Transport for London commissioned Atkins to update the Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme lifecycle planning toolkit and TRL to develop the HMEA model.

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