Manchester Council: LCRIG

Manchester Council became a member of LCRIG following successful sharing of information between Highway officers in Blackpool and Manchester.

The Highways team in Manchester were aware of the deteriorating condition of their roads but knew that their data was not accurate enough to form a robust business case for increased funding. Having heard about Project 30, Tony King contacted Will Britain in Blackpool to find out how this investment had been achieved.

Following several meetings and discussions, Manchester decided to adopt Blackpool’s approach, capturing accurate data to use for analysis and investment modelling. In late 2013, they commissioned the same private sector partner to undertake condition surveys and to provide the expertise for cost, deterioration and forecast models. By 2014, an accurate business case was presented at Chief Executive Level which eventually led to the council agreeing an £80 million highway investment plan from 2017 onwards.

Manchester Council is now in year one of its investment, and Tony comments that it is easy to refresh the plan by capturing accurate condition data each year and entering the relevant information into the model.

Having benefited from the experiences of another council, Manchester continues to work with others to share information and good practice. LCRIG brings together diverse councils from across England and provides plenty of opportunity to discuss important issues for the highway sector. A recent LCRIG focus on the Incentive Fund self-assessment looked at members’ different approaches to the questions and benchmarked what was required to achieve Band 3. Tony feels that this gives more confidence to each council about where they are at, and what they are doing well.

LCRIG also directly influences innovation for highway data and technology: the group can steer the direction for what is important to highway authorities and is willing to trial technological innovation and methodologies.

Tony King

Highways Asset Manager, Highways, Manchester Council

Tony has worked in the Highways and civil engineering fields for almost thirty years and has specialist knowledge of construction materials, specifications, conditions of contract, related legislation and management of the highways asset.
He currently works in Manchester City Council’s Highway team, supporting the team of Highways staff on the delivery of the large capital works programme, bidding for highways funding as well as refreshing & updating the Council’s asset management policy and strategy.
He has recently been instrumental in working with partners in analysing condition data and utilising depreciation modelling to formulate a robust ‘Invest to Save’ business case for additional highways funding in Manchester over the next 10 years.