The new criteria to decide road maintenance in Blackburn with Darwen
Deprivation, proximity to schools and bus routes will be among the criteria considered by Blackburn with Darwen Council when prioritising road maintenance.
The council has approved the introduction of a highways prioritisation model, which will be annually reviewed.
Council bosses say determining which particular roads receive maintenance at any given time ensures that the budget is used in the most efficient manner.
Until now proposed carriageway resurfacing schemes have been approved by the Executive Member based on unpublished models and analytical methods.
The main criteria is road condition, with road class also taken into consideration.
The council will then look at bus routes, amenities including schools, hospitals and sports grounds, as well as places of worship.
Skid resistance is taking into account, as well as the index of multiple deprivation.
Finally, whether the area is residential, used for shopping or industrial will be taken into account.
Executive member for regeneration, Cllr Phil Riley, said: “It will act as a guide to engineers considering recommending resurfacing schemes for inclusion in capital maintenance works programmes.
“Engineering staff will continue to consider all mitigating circumstances, enabling them to draft a proposed works programme that considers all parameters relevant to the maintenance of the highway network.
“A number of relevant criteria are assigned weighted attributes, the sum of the scores of these criteria is ranked and the highest scoring schemes are recommended for maintenance works.
“The costs of routine reactive maintenance are assessed separately to this direct model and may influence the final works programme if these costs appear to be disproportionately high.
“The model does not take into account the geographical position of the road within the borough. The future plans of utility companies are taken into account when the initial list is produced.
“Given the range of scores available it is probable that a number of sites will have the same score.
“If there are insufficient funds to complete all these schemes engineering judgement will be used to determine which to recommend for maintenance.
“This model will assist in the continuing improvement of the expenditure of the highways capital maintenance budget.
“It will allow the authority to improve the quality of maintenance at no additional cost.”