The highway infrastructure assets in Derby are by far the Council’s biggest asset and are valued at almost £2.8 billion. A significant part of that are the roads and footways valued at £1.2 billion. The assets are used daily by the majority of the travelling public for commuting, business, social and leisure activities. They are fundamental to the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of local communities and to the prosperity of the city. As stewards of the highway infrastructure assets, we must demonstrate that we have provided adequate provision for their upkeep and safety as can be reasonably expected
In line with the ‘Well Managed Highway Infrastructure Code of Practice: October 2016’ and the Department for Transport Incentive Fund Self-Assessment process, we have reviewed our existing policy and strategy and updated the content to reflect national guidance. The documents attached set out the principles, concepts and approach we have adopted to deliver effective highway infrastructure asset management.
Highway safety inspections are designed to ensure the network is safe and routinely checked for defects, which may have the potential to create injury or disruption to users of the highway network.
In October 2016, the UK Roads Liaison Group launched the new Well Managed Highway Infrastructure Code of Practice: October 2016. It recommends that the safety inspection and defect repair regimes should be based on risk, in accordance with local needs, context and priorities. There are no longer prescriptive or minimum standards published at which an authority should intervene and repair a defect. It is for local authorities to determine appropriate levels of service.
The new Highway Safety Inspection Manual: October 2018 sets out Derby City’s approach to the safety inspection process outlined in the Code of Practice and was approved by Council Cabinet on 10 October 2018.
In December 2014, the Secretary of State for Transport announced that £6 billion will be made available between 2015/16 and 2020/21 for local highways maintenance capital funding. Since then, they have also announced in November 2015 a further £250 million for a dedicated Pothole Action Fund. From this funding, £578 million has been set aside for an Incentive Fund scheme, to reward councils who can demonstrate they are delivering value for money in carrying out cost-effective improvements and further efficiency measures are being pursued.
Each local highway authority in England, outside of London, has been invited to complete a self-assessment questionnaire, to work out the share of the Incentive Fund they will be eligible for in 2016/17.
We completed a dry run in July 2015 and placed ourselves in Band 2, in that we could demonstrate that we supported the implementation of sound asset management principles in key areas of our work, which would lead towards improvement. Our final assessment shows we have maintained a Band 2 scoring.
Further information on this process can be found at on the Government's highways maintenance funding incentive page.
The Department for Transport is committed to supporting road authorities deliver better management of their network. They have launched a new competition inviting councils to develop pilot projects of new connected technologies, for the collection of road condition and pothole data. Further details of the competition can be found on www.gov.uk website in the Funding for Innovation: Connected Vehicle Data document
Attached is Derby City Council’s submission. Our project is designed to specifically test whether new advances in Computer Vision, a branch of Artificial Intelligence can be used in pursuit of cost effective asset management. Specifically we will use video imagery taken from moving vehicles, pass that into the Cloud from where Artificial Intelligence will be used to automatically detect assets and their condition. We are not only testing Computer Vision’s effectiveness in automatically identifying assets, but also looking to assess whether our own fleets can be connected in such a way as to provide continuously updating information
Key project outcomes include an inventory of road signs on the Derby City network with imagery collected by mobile phones installed in vehicles. We will then assess whether a pre-existing installation of cameras on our refuse collection vehicles can be used for this purpose and enable this capability. Critically this connected fleet data has the potential for multiple uses as the Computer Vision capability continues to expand. We see this project as a springboard to then use our connected fleet data as an integral part of our asset management. For instance, the video imagery collected could be used to identify other asset deteriorations, such as pothole occurrence.
We look forward to hearing if we have been successful in our bid.