Managing Highways Maintenance - An Introduction



Endorsed by CIHT for CPD                                                                                                                                                   Approved by IHE

This is a course for those with a technical/supervisory background but little or no experience of the management of highways maintenance. It provides a basic overview of the process and sets it in a day-to-day context.

Aims & Objectives:

Delegates will gain an understanding of the legal, political, financial, functional and technical aspects of managing highway maintenance.

On completion of this course, delegates will have an awareness of:

  • The legal basis for highway maintenance, the difference between duties and powers, and how the extent of the publicly maintainable highway is determined
  • The political environment in which highways maintenance is carried out
  • Some of the various arrangements for carrying out both ‘client’ and ‘contractor’ roles
  • Some common ways in which the various functions of highways maintenance can be arranged and the how routine, reactive and programmed maintenance interact
  • The importance of inspections and the public interface.

Course Outline:

The course looks at the most important areas which overlap to form the environment in which highways maintenance is carried out and which form essential components of its management:-


  • what is a highway and determining its extent
  • legislative framework – the Highways Act 1980, Road Traffic Regulations, etc
  • limitations on ability to act
  • the difference between duties and powers


  • different highway authorities
  • the role of elected members
  • public pressure on elected members and those performing the highways maintenance function
  • highway authority policies


  • public funding
  • annual budgets
  • financial pressures
  • maintenance backlogs


  • who undertakes different elements of the process
  • geography v. function
  • some common contractual arrangements eg PFI, direct labour/in house staff, contractors, consultants, etc
  • some common functional splits eg bridges, street lights, traffic signals, roads, etc
  • the public interface


  • why highway maintenance is carried out
  • inspections and the section 58 defence
  • when highway maintenance is carried out
  • the difference between cyclic, reactive and planned maintenance
  • snow and ice
  • emergency works and working with other agencies

Mode of Delivery:

  • The course will be relaxed, informal and inter-active.
  • While it will be centred on a tutor presentation, discussion is encouraged throughout.
  • At the start, delegates will be asked to introduce themselves and indicate their knowledge of the subject area, so that the whole group can draw on the experiences of all those present.

Benefits of Attending:

  • An understanding of the highways maintenance management process at a basic level
  • The path that has to be threaded between legal, political, functional, technical and financial issues that are the everyday reality of managing highways maintenance.

Intended For:

  • Those moving into the management of highways maintenance and who either have some highways technical knowledge or have experience of managing maintenance of a different asset type.
  • Those who are new to highways maintenance and wish to gain an understanding of the management process.

Pre-Course Requirements:

Have an understanding of non-highways asset maintenance, or the practical aspects of highways maintenance.

All our courses can be offered as in-house training