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Code of Practice 'Well-managed highway infrastructure'

'Well-managed highway infrastructure' supersedes the previous Codes 'Well-maintained Highways', 'Well-lit Highways' and 'Management of Highway Structures'.  This was published on 28 October 2016.  The new Code can either be adopted straightaway by authorities or they have until October 2018 to adopt a risk based approach.

Well-managed Highway Infrastructure - A Code of Practice [please note this is only available as a download i.e. there are no hard copies available to purchase]

Well-managed Highway Infrastructure A Code of Practice cover

This document is the first edition of ‘Well-managed Highway Infrastructure’. It replaces Well-maintained Highways, Management of Highway Structures and Well-lit Highways.

The Code is intended to apply throughout the United Kingdom.  Production has been overseen by the UK Roads Liaison Group (UKRLG) and its Roads, Bridges and Lighting Boards. It is recognised that there are differences in approach to some matters in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which are not always detailed in the Code, but general principles are set out.

The Code is designed to promote the adoption of an integrated asset management approach to highway infrastructure based on the establishment of local levels of service through risk-based assessment. It also includes guidance on some additional topics.

The Code is produced as a single document to emphasise the integrated approach to highway network infrastructure assets. Overarching matters are dealt with in Part A and additional asset specific matters in Parts B, C and D.

Delivery of a safe and well maintained highway network relies on good evidence and sound engineering judgement. The intention of this Code is that Authorities will develop their own levels of service and the Code therefore provides guidance for authorities to consider when developing their approach in accordance with local needs, priorities and affordability.

Changing from reliance on specific guidance and recommendations in the previous Codes to a risk-based approach determined by each Highway Authority will involve appropriate analysis, development and gaining of approval through authorities’ executive processes. Some authorities may be able to implement a full risk-based approach immediately. Others may require more time and may choose to continue with existing practices for an interim period, in which case the previous Codes will remain valid for them until the earlier of when they have implemented their approach or a period of two years from the date of publication of this Code.

In the interest of route consistency for highway users, all authorities, including strategic, local, combined and those in alliances, are encouraged to collaborate in determining levels of service, especially across boundaries with neighbours responsible for strategic and local highway networks. Boundaries are not usually apparent to users and authorities should be aware of the possibility of distinct changes to levels of service through a risk-based local approach, both across authority boundaries and between roads with different character within an authority.

All Highway Authorities should consider adoption of new and emerging technologies as part of their highway service.  This should include consideration of new ideas, methods of working and innovation in order to drive greater efficiency.

References to third party documents and web sites are included throughout to provide further information and support on various topics, but are not to be seen as part of the Code of Practice. References are to the version current at the time of this Code’s publication, unless otherwise indicated.

This Code of Practice is not statutory but provides Highway Authorities with guidance on highways management.  Adoption of the recommendations within this document is a matter for each Highway Authority, based on their own legal interpretation, risks, needs and priorities.

For the background to the review click here.


Listen to "CIHT podcast - Implemeting a risk-based approach - Lila Tachtsi" on Spreaker.

Listen to "CIHT podcast - Steven Conway - A legal view of the risk-based approach" on Spreaker.