Headlines: October 29th, 2009

A draft code has been drawn up to help local councils improve the management and maintenance of their road networks. The Transport Infrastructure Assets Code has been sent out for consultation by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

It has been designed to help local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales with management of their assets as well as providing a better service to users and greater efficiency savings. The draft code has been written at the request of the Government. The 2009 Budget Report included implementation of the code in the Government’s Public Value Programme.

The draft implements a key recommendation from CIPFA’s review of local authority transport assets last year. That concluded that progress in implementing transport asset management had been disappointing. CIPFA estimated that there was scope for efficiency savings on local highway maintenance of at least 5 per cent. The code is due for publication next February. The first version deals with local highway assets but next year it will be extended to cover light rail, tram and underground systems.

CIPFA’s Chief Executive Steve Freer said: “We need a much better understanding of these assets and their condition, the cost of maintenance and how we can get the best value for money. This can only be achieved through effective asset management, underpinned by sound financial information, which is what the new Code is designed to support.”