A NEW Highways Asset Management Strategy providing a framework for future maintenance of the county’s road network has been approved by Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet.

The strategy sets out the council’s commitment to:

• Enhancing the customer experience and keeping customers better informed

• Making it easier for customers to access information online, by phone and email

• Providing staff with the right resources, skills and capability to carry out their roles effectively in a digital organisation

• Continuing to work with partner organisations and communities to achieve shared aspirations

• Working closely with Parish and Town Councils to further develop the Working Together project to support communities to undertake additional work on the highway within an agreed protocol

• Develop innovative solutions using digital technology to improve the resilience of our highways network and reduce the impact of climate change.

Cumbria has the fourth largest highway network in England, with over 7,900km of carriageway, 4,000 km of footways and cycleways, 3,200 structures, (including some 1,800 bridges, 900 large culverts and 500 retaining walls), 145,000 road gullies and 45,000 street lighting columns.

Councillor Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “I’m delighted that Cabinet has approved our latest Highways Asset Management Strategy, which sets out how we will maintain the highway in a strategic and efficient way.

"The Strategy puts customers at the heart of everything we do in providing a high quality highways service and well-managed asset that meets the needs of all our road users. However, we recognise that it will need new approaches and availability of funding if we are to be successful.

“The strategy, which has been shaped by stakeholder and customer priorities, will support the delivery of the Council Plan and further develop our asset management approach in line with the Well-Managed Highway Infrastructure best practice.

"I look forward to its implementation that will lead to improved highways for Cumbria and most importantly improved outcomes for our road users.”

The strategy can be read and downloaded in full on the county council’s website.