Agenda item



The Committee received the Highway Asset Management Plan (HAMP) Annual Statement Report 2023, presented by Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste and Infrastructure Services.  The Cabinet Member highlighted the significant challenges that was being faced by the Authority.


The following questions/issues were raised on the report:-


·       In noting that the County of Carmarthenshire had the second largest highway network in Wales and its roads carry the third highest levels of traffic, strong concerns were raised in observing that this report, similar to previous years illustrated a continuous decline in the road conditions within Carmarthenshire.  It was recognised that only way to improve the current conditions of the roads would be to receive adequate level of funding from the Government. 


Further concerns were extended to the continuing budget pressures having an impact on the conditions of the roads as a result of climate change as an evident cause and the increase in material, construction and surfacing costs, as well as the increased cost of the winter service operations. It was acknowledged that without the necessary funds the critical asset would be subject to continual deterioration. 


Reference was made to page 16 of the report which cited that ‘in common with other highway Authorities, Carmarthenshire has a significant backlog, estimated in Carmarthenshire at over £63m of highway surface maintenance, which is growing for year on year.’  This caused significant concern in amongst members of the Committee who referenced the ‘standstill’ investment required £8m compared to the expected capital funding in 2024/25 of £0.6m per year, which would not be sustainable.


Furthermore, as signified on page 16 of the report, observations were made in that there was an increase in public dis-satisfaction of the condition of the highways and that the customer service requests were growing which placed a higher demand on resources in reaction to the issues.  It was commented that this reactionary method was not cost effective or sustainable.


Committee Members acknowledged that the deterioration of the roads was as a result of a funding crisis. It was also noted that it would take circa 12 years to bring the conditions of the bridges up to a satisfactory level.


Reference was made to page 18 of the report – Footways and Cycleways. And the statement ‘There is no capital funding available for 2023/24’.  It was commented that footways were also in a state of disrepair and with no capital funding for the next year strong concern was expressed that this could cause injury to users.


The Highways and Transportation Services Manager acknowledged and was sympathetic to all the concerns and matters raised by members and re-iterated the budget pressures and challenges that the department faced.  In acknowledging the deterioration in the asset and the consequential maintenance backlog, members were informed that the department faced an increasing volume of reactive maintenance which was placing a significant impact on highways teams diverting them from other essential planned maintenance works.  In essence the department was under significant budgetary constraints.


It was suggested that it would be beneficial to undertake a PR exercise in order to explain the situation to the public.


Committee Members were appreciative of the honest report.  In expressing frustrations with regard to the current budget situation it was proposed that the Committee send a letter to the Welsh Government Minister outlining the current situation and conveying the budget concerns of the Committee.  This was duly seconded.




4.1 that the Highway Asset Management Plan – Annual Statement report 2023 be received;


4.2 that a letter be sent to the Welsh Government Minister outlining the current concerns in relation to the situation of the highway network, conveying the budget concerns as raised by the Committee.


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