An update to the national paving management standards is on the cards after the Department for Transport (DfT) announced plans to consult on how new technology could be used to monitor road conditions.
Steve Berry, head of local roads at the DfT, made the announcement at Traffex 2017.
He told delegates: ‘Later this year the department will be seeking views from the highways sector on whether we should introduce new technology into how we monitor road condition and how this feeds into the annual road condition statistics.’
He also specified the DfT would also seek views on the UK Pavement Management System (UKPMS), which authorities are required to use.
The UKPMS is the national standard for management systems for assessing local road network conditions and for the planning of investment and maintenance on paved areas of roads, kerbs, footways and cycle tracks on local roads.
Mr Berry said: ‘The intention is to allow local highway authorities to be given more flexibility in what technology they use and this will also help other companies enter the market.
'We want to ensure that we are keeping pace with the rapid changing pace of technology and to help authorities understand the true condition of the roads for which they are responsible and to make sure that they make the best decisions for their service.’
The department is also keen to look at innovative approaches to street lighting, including the possible use of solar power and wind turbines, he told Transport Network.
'We want to trial going off grid [and] using battery back-up rather than the National Grid. In Denmark they use this in car parks; energy is stored throughout the day.
‘We also want to investigate taking data from street lighting columns, to potentially create a useful app. We will be following this up with the UKRLG lighting board.'