Working on it...TfB’s long-term improvements for 2018-19

  |  Published: Jul 20th 2018

Despite the very hot weather disrupting some road resurfacing schedules, Transport for Buckinghamshire’s 2018-19 programme of road improvements has been well under way since April, with 10-15 road sites being treated every week


The total budget for long term improvements across the whole Buckinghamshire network is almost £30 million for this financial year. This mainly covers road and footway resurfacing, but also includes investment in bridges, streetlights, drainage, safety schemes, parking, safety barriers and traffic signals.  

TfB is responsible for over 3200km of roads across the county, as well as the bridges, footways, streetlights, traffic signals, bollards and gullies that keep the highway functional and safe.  Maintaining this valuable and vast asset requires long term, strategic planning that balances day-to-day maintenance with longer term improvements.  The County Council's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Transportation, Mark Shaw commented on the challenges TfB face in maintaining the county’s most valuable asset:

“Buckinghamshire is in a uniquely challenging position; we’re a rural county yet very close to London which means our roads take some of the highest volumes of traffic nationally. That high volume of traffic, more and more of which is larger goods vehicles, puts a massive strain on our road surfaces.

"The Council is committed to maintaining the roads to a safe and serviceable level, which is why we’ve put more money into road maintenance this year, and I’m proud of how hard the whole TfB team is working to make real long term improvements.”

Road and footway resurfacing 2018-19

The most high profile element of our work is road and footway resurfacing, which is also the biggest part of our capital spend, with over £20 million budgeted across the county this year. Over 100 road resurfacing and 18 footway resurfacing schemes are planned for 2018-19, as part of a works programme designed by TfB in collaboration with local County Councillors.

When roads have been chosen for resurfacing they are prioritised and the appropriate treatment is chosen – there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to road surfacing, with several options available to extend the life of a road. Every Friday, we release a programme of works around the county for the upcoming week, which can be found here on the County Council website, as can the details about the different types of road surfacing we use.  Since April, eight major surfacing schemes have already been completed in Buckinghamshire, equating to an area of over 16,000m².

A further £2.78M has been invested in a ‘plane and patch’ programme, where smaller areas of damaged road surface are cut out and resurfaced.  We are using this technique to deal with the significant deterioration of Buckinghamshire’s roads that occurred last winter. Some highly visible and longstanding areas of concern have been addressed quickly and effectively through this approach and by the end of June, approx. 62,000 m² of plane and patch had already been carried out across the county. 

Structures, 2018-19

This year in excess of £1 million will be invested on improvements to various structures across the county, including bridges, subways, parapets, and monuments. This work is undertaken by a combination of in-house specialists and skilled contractors, particularly for the works requiring specialist knowledge such as for listed historic structures, like the  Marlow Obelisk, which will undergo renovation works later this year. Other structures projects for the coming year include a footbridge in Buckingham and a monument in Thornborough.

Drainage, 2018-19

The countywide drainage improvement programme creates sustainable, long term solutions to some of the more significant drainage issues across the county. Where road surface water and ineffective drainage are an issue a solution is designed and built by a team of drainage specialists. This usually includes installing new pipework and soakaways, improving ditch capacity, and refurbishing existing drainage systems to increase capacity. £1 million has been allocated for the 2018-19 drainage programme, and will include over 30 sites, eleven of which have already been completed.  You can read about how drainage improvements were made in Buckinghamshire last year here, and see the full list of planned works for 2018-19 on the County Council website. 

Streetlighting, 2018-19

‘Street lighting’ actually refers not just to conventional streetlights but to all road side illuminated signs and bollards, as well as lighting in subways, and all the associated cabling. This year over £2.5 million will be spent on major street lighting works, which includes replacing over 500 streetlight columns, and continuing the countywide programme to replace all old style sodium lamps with more modern and efficient LED units. Over the last six years almost 15,000 LED conversions have been completed in Buckinghamshire, with over 3,200 old style lanterns expected to be replaced this coming year.

Other schemes

  • TfB also carries out local, smaller schemes on our roads and streets.  These are developed with, and often funded by, third parties such as parishes and Local Area Forums (LAFs). Over 200 of these schemes are planned for 2018-19, including pedestrian crossings and cycle ways.
  • Over £300,000 will be invested in countywide network safety schemes whilst a further £879,000 from the DfT Safer Roads allocation, will enable a number of safety schemes to be carried out along the A40 between West Wycombe and Stokenchurch
  • In excess of £400,000 has been allocated for the upgrade of traffic signal infrastructure  across the county 
  • £250,000 is to be invested on safety fencing improvements across the county
  • A further £500,000+ has also been budgeted this year for locally organised projects such as traffic calming and other highway safety improvements.

More information about what TfB does can be found on the county council website, and by following TfB on Twitter and Facebook.

Transport Cabinet Member Mark Shaw inspecting one of Buckinghamshire's 200 road treatment schemes (at Peters Lane)
Transport Cabinet Member Mark Shaw inspecting one of Buckinghamshire's 200 road treatment schemes (at Peters Lane)
TfB works fom 2017-18 resurfacing programme, photo: Jerry Lake
TfB works fom 2017-18 resurfacing programme, photo: Jerry Lake
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