5 December 2002

The Transport Committee has decided to undertake an inquiry into road and pathway maintenance and will be taking oral evidence on this subject in late January 2003. Last Session, the then Transport Sub Committee of the Transport, Local Government and the Regions Committee investigated the road maintenance on motorways, trunk roads and local authority roads covering roads, pavements, bridges and street lighting. The Sub-Committee asked for evidence on the following areas:

  • the local road maintenance backlog;

  • co-ordination of street works;

  • the role and suitability of Best Value indicators in improving cost-effectiveness;

  • consequences of inadequate maintenance, particularly with regards to third party liability claims;

  • factors influencing the deterioration of roads (such as flooding);

  • provision and maintenance of street lighting and its role in road safety;

  • the importance and costs of providing high quality pedestrian and cycling environments, including the need to remove otiose street furniture and signage; and

  • the applicability of private finance initiatives to local road maintenance.

The memoranda submitted to that inquiry will be available to the Transport Committee, but new submissions are also welcome.  Witnesses are invited to submit memoranda on the above questions and other relevant topics to the Committee before Wednesday 15th January 2003.  It is unlikely that memoranda submitted after this date will be published. (Witnesses who wish their memoranda to be treated in confidence should contact the Committee Clerk in advance.)

Witnesses are requested to submit a single hard copy of their memorandum by post to the above address, together with an electronic version (in ASCII, Word or Word Perfect formats) either by e-mail to or on a disk accompanying the hard copy.  Witnesses who are unable to submit electronic versions of their submissions are respectfully requested to take particular care that their submissions are legible.  Memoranda should be a maximum of 6 A4 pages in length.   All submissions should be final and complete; the Committee will not accept draft memoranda or subsequent amendments.  Memoranda submitted to the Committee should be kept confidential until published by the Committee.