Highways Asset Management

Milton Keynes Council’s highway infrastructure is its most valuable asset, valued at £5.5 billion, providing a transportation network for both businesses and individuals. It supports the Council Plan and Mobility Strategy.

What is the highways asset management policy?

Our highway asset management policy and strategy explain how we manage and maintain the things you see and use on our streets, such as: 

  • roads,
  • paths,
  • bridges,
  • street lights,
  • signs,
  • traffic lights,
  • Redways, 
  • underground drains.  

This helps us all to continue to travel safely, comfortably and reliably, and meet our changing needs. 

We have many items and route miles making up our highway asset with its value locked and realised over time; typically 50 to 100 years or more after being built or installed. It is important to those who live and visit Milton Keynes now and in the future. 

In 2016, we valued it at £5.5bn and growing as Milton Keynes expands.   We spend on average under £20m per year on maintaining, upgrading, removing old, and purchasing or building new items forming the critical elements of roads and paths, street-lighting and bridges.   

With it being so valuable and important to present and future communities, we need to keep it in a suitable state by recording the range and complexity our highway asset and to monitor it over time.  We divide it by location and item. We check its:

  • Condition – physical and technical state
  • Function – ability to meet needs
  • Capacity – ability to meet demand.

We engage with technical experts, partners and customers to work out how, when and where to repair, replace or improve the highway asset at appropriate times using the most suitable equipment, materials, methods and resources available.  This is not always when it has failed rather to step in earlier to prevent such events arising and extending the usable life. 

There is never enough money to fix things all at once, so we have to review, prioritise and select projects to form three to five rolling works programmes, and find ways to raise money to fund our work.

Much our money comes from Government as a grant, but in 2012 we borrowed £50m over seven years to help us improve our maintenance delivery and bring longer term savings.  Since then we have received extra Government funds for potholes based on how we manage our assets.  In 2017, this amounted to £280k and, added another £3.9m by successfully bidding for the Department for Transport’s challenge fund towards the £4.9m A509/A422 Willen Road to Olney upgrade. 

Sound highway asset information and clear intentions support our decisions and bids.  This enables greater certainty; longer term planning and realisation of the value of our highway asset from the maintenance spend. For more information go to highways-and-transport-hub/highways-asset-management

Last Updated: 9 August 2019