Asset management

Table of Contents

5.2.3 United Kingdom – Highways Maintenance Efficiency Program (HMEP)

This program was established by the UK Department for Transport (DfT) to:

support and embed change across the highways sector …. to deliver 15% savings by 2015 and 30% or more by 2020, transforming delivery so that roads and services are improved. We all want roads that are fit for the future. While better roads remain a key priority for Government, businesses and the whole community, the need to deliver improved roads more efficiently is set against a backdrop of tighter budgets, increased costs and greater demand from customers (Department for Transport 2014).

These drivers are common across the developed world. HMEP connects networks and provides tools and resources to address the challenges across the UK highways sector. The program has three key objectives:

  • encourage leadership
  • build capacity in terms of people competencies within the sector
  • enable and embed change.

A range of resources relating to asset management was produced by HMEP, including:

  • Highway infrastructure asset management guidance – advice on the application of asset management principles to highways (Roads Liaison Group 2013)
  • Guidance on the management of highways drainage assets (Department for Transport 2012a)
  • Life-cycle planning toolkit incorporating default carriageway deterioration models (Department for Transport 2012b)
  • Potholes review – prevention and a better cure (Department for Transport 2012c).

More information on HMEP and associated products is available at:

Examples sourced from the website are presented in Case Study 1.

Case Study 1: Highways Maintenance Efficiency Program (HMEP)

Blackpool Council – Development and implementation of a collaborative asset management model creating significant savings

Blackpool Council and its providers were working independently of one another with little focus being placed on effective asset management; they were operating substantially on a reactive basis for highway maintenance.

The need for collaboration developed from an appreciation of the value of the asset and a desire to make an up-front investment to arrest its declining state. The application of complementary skills and knowledge allowed the cycle of decline to be interrupted within four years through early targeted investment, at the same time achieving a major reduction in future costs.

An asset management model was successfully developed and prudent borrowing of £30 million was achieved. A program of interventions was developed focusing on ‘doing the right things at the right time’. This resulted in a range of benefits, including a potential saving of £150 million in maintenance costs over a 25-year period.

Gloucestershire County Council – Transport Asset Management Plans

Significant engagement took place with members regarding the link between resources and levels of service provision. It was demonstrated that there were clear linkages between corporate objectives and highways.

This work resulted in the development of a document which could easily be used to engage members about changes to service levels and to facilitate future changes in revenue spending.

Source: Highways Maintenance Efficiency Program (HMEP) in the UK – ‘a journey to transform highway services’