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The need for change in the highways service

Evidence and customer feedback show that the way we deliver highway services in Derbyshire has to change.

We are facing a very challenging situation caused by falling public satisfaction, increasing numbers of complaints and enquiries, an over-stretched workforce and a deteriorating network with a backlog of repairs.

Despite our best efforts and hard work, on important national benchmarks, we are slipping behind other local authorities.

The Department for Transport annual road condition survey ranked our network as one of the lowest of all highway authorities and local residents’ satisfaction has dropped significantly from a previous high.

COVID-19 has placed extra pressure on our teams to cover sickness absence and work in different ways. Climate change is also playing a part, causing more frequent flooding and landslips. Solutions are often complicated, costly and time consuming, adding to the frustrations of local residents and local elected representatives, including councillors and MPs.

It’s clear that we cannot continue to deliver our services in the same way any longer and changing how we do things is the only option.

Using our experience, knowledge, professionalism and skills, we intend to change the way we deliver highway services to make them fit for the future. We have already shown we can change the way we work, following the delivery of last year’s capital programme of £40 million – double the amount we have achieved in previous years.

Against a backdrop of a deteriorating road network and falling customer satisfaction, doing nothing is not an option.