Highways performance

Highways performance

See reports of the Highways department's performance in areas such as public satisfaction, winter maintenance, condition of the roads and more.

We have completed 11,504 Safety Defects between the timeframe 1 January 2022 to 30 June 2022. You may wish to see how we are doing on every six months through our balanced scorecard results and see what members of the public think about our services in our annual local resident's survey called Viewpoint. We also take part in the annual National Highways and Transport (NHT) survey which looks at public satisfaction on a national basis.

Worcestershire has one of the fastest growing local economies in the country and being “Open for Business” remains the key economic priority for the County Council. Residents, businesses, and visitors all depend upon safe and reliable journeys using an effective highways and transport network to sustain our economic growth and transportation needs. The highway network in Worcestershire (4,093 km or 2,543 miles) is the largest and most visible community asset for which the County Council is responsible. 

The way in which the highway network is managed and maintained has a direct impact on the County Council's ability to deliver on its corporate priorities and other outcomes and increasingly, there is a need to manage and maintain the network to respond to environmental change, in particular to weather extremities.

Potholes and reported defects

We inspect and carry out suitable repairs of reported potholes within 28 working days and wherever possible, we try and repair them permanently first time.  In addition, we have a comprehensive regime of safety inspections and proactively inspect all roads and footways in the County.

As well as potholes, a road may have additional defects such as cracking, rutting, edge deterioration and low skid resistance. For this reason, we maintain our roads by fixing defects and carrying out preventative treatments each year such as patching, resurfacing and surface dressing programmes. 

The tables below show the annual total number of potholes that have been reported to us via the Worcestershire County Council Report-It site and fixed over the last five years, as well as the number of defects identified and repaired as part of our safety inspection regime. 

This also reflects the trend that figures will increase when we have experienced adverse weather which impacts our highways:

By financial year Total number of pot holes reported
2017/18 3985
2018/19 2884
2019/20 4778
2020/21 2695
2021/22 2949
Year reported defects fixed defects
2017/18 26985 27371
2018/19 24419 26634
2019/20 26301 26411
2020/21 25734 25896
2021/22 25734 25896

Condition of roads

Worcestershire County Council is committed to an asset management approach to ensure the most efficient and effective use of the available highway budget is used appropriately to deliver outcome-based benefits. We continue to use innovative treatments alongside tried and tested maintenance materials, to ensure the appropriate treatment is used at the right time to maintain our highways assets in Worcestershire.

Lifecycle planning is a technique which enables Worcestershire County Council to monitor and anticipate the future condition of assets and to know when we need to maintain or replace it. Through detailed knowledge of the size, safety, condition and value of our highway’s asset, the information gathered enables us to take into consideration whole life costs when maintaining our assets.

We undertake annual condition surveys of our classified road network using SCANNER methodology  for our A, B and C Roads which produce condition scores for our network. These scores are reported back to Central Government. We use these condition scores to help identify sections of our network requiring works using a Red, Amber, and Green categorisation:

  • Red – Plan maintenance soon
  • Amber – Plan investigation soon
  • Green – Generally good condition

The table below shows the condition of the road network as measured using scanner surveys over a five-year period:

The information is shown in tables below:

A roads

Year Green Amber Red
2018 66.00% 30.60% 3.40%
2019 63.60% 32.50% 3.90%
2020 62.50% 32.90% 4.60%
2021 64.60% 31.00% 4.50%

B roads

Year Green Amber Red
2018 71.70% 25.30% 3.00%
2019 70.40% 26.10% 3.50%
2020 67.10% 28.80% 4.10%
2021 67.40% 28.50% 4.00%

C roads

Year Green Amber Red
2018 68.90% 26.80% 4.30%
2019 68.00% 27.30% 4.70%
2020 67.70% 27.60% 5.00%
2021 72.40% 24.10% 3.50%

Please note 2022 data will be published and made available when verified.

Drainage - quantities of gullies inspected and cleaned per annum

To minimise flooding across roads and provide an effective highways drainage system, we maintain approximately 116,000 gullies using an optimised system across the County.  In order to maintain them, we carry out regular inspections to fix, clean and empty them. 

As we become more efficient with keeping our gullies maintained, the number of gullies that need to be emptied and fixed are reduced. The table below shows the number of gullies which have been emptied and attended by our gully crews over the last five years. As with potholes, the figures will echo that where we experienced inclement weather, the figures increase:

Year Emptied Number attended
2019 4261 5327
2020 47003 59903
2021 19237 34066
2022 17826 20590

Public satisfaction

We participate in the National Highways Transport (NHT) annual survey conducted by Ipsos Mori to assess public satisfaction in Worcestershire. The survey assesses public satisfaction across seven key themes: accessibility, public transport, walking/cycling, tackling congestion, road safety, highway maintenance and communication 

For 2022, the overall public satisfaction score for Worcestershire was 51%; slightly higher than the national average public satisfaction score of 50%.  

For each of the themes, this is how we performed against the national average score for public satisfaction as shown against the previous year:

NHT public satisfaction themes in 2021 % score for WCC % score for NHT average
accessibility 68% 70%
public transport 47% 55%
walking/ cycling 52% 52%
tackling congestion 44% 43%
road safety 53% 52%
highway maintenance 49% 45%
WCC public satisfaction themes in 2022 % score for WCC % score for NHT average
accessibility 68% 68%
public transport 44% 51%
walking/ cycling 52% 51%
tackling congestion 43% 44%
road safety 52% 52%
highway maintenance 51% 46%
communications 47% 46%

To understand more about NHT and the results, please visit their website on: The NHT Network

Street lighting

We are committed to providing the best street lighting service we can to the people of Worcestershire.

In recent years we have initiated a countywide programme of replacing the conventional sodium lanterns with the latest generation of LED luminaires, which are significantly more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

These LED lanterns are expected to work reliably for twenty years or more without the need for any intermediate lamp changes and therefore savings in routine maintenance and bulk lamp changes will be considerable going forward.  In April 2022 we embarked on an accelerated roll out programme with a target to convert all the remaining non-LED streetlights to LED by autumn 2023, in order to maximise the energy and carbon savings as quickly as possible.

As part of the LED conversion programme, we are at the forefront of introducing LED lanterns with less blue light content to help reduce the impact on the ecology and the environment. Many amber and smaller numbers of red LED lanterns are being fitted at locations where our Ecology Teams have identified important and rare species of bat and other light averse ecology that will be more tolerant of these reduced blue light content light sources.

Guidance Note 08 /18, published jointly by the Bat Conservation Trust and the Institution of Lighting Professionals (ILP), advocates the use of LED luminaires with a warm white, amber or red spectrum to minimize the “blue light” component of LED light which is the most disruptive to bat’s behaviour. This policy of mitigation is being followed by Worcestershire County Council in the continuing LED roll-out initiative throughout the County. 

Worcestershire County Council have also started to specify aluminium columns for new developments and major project work as a sustainability measure. Aluminium columns have a design life of 50 years which is significantly longer than traditional steel columns. 

With all these initiatives we are making considerable headway in reducing our energy consumption and carbon emissions as the tables below illustrate:

Annual Energy Consumption for Street Lighting and all other unmetered assets on the highway network

Year 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 2022/23
kWh 18,269,390 16,874,248 15,402,296 13,545,000 (estimated)

Annual Carbon emissions for Street Lighting and all other unmetered assets on the highway network

Year 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 2022/23
Tonnes CO2 5026 4234 3424 2680 (estimated)

Winter maintenance

When there is a forecast for snow or ice, we use rock salt to grit 2,371km of roads across the county. As a priority, we treat our Primary Network first which represents 30% of the road network in Worcestershire comprising:

  • all main traffic routes (the Principal Road Network)
  • A roads and most B roads (main and secondary distributor roads)
  • links to villages, major bus routes, emergency service locations, access to major infrastructure and reasonable proximity to schools

The Secondary Network is treated in severe weather conditions and only after the Primary Network has been successfully treated. The Secondary Network comprises less important local, village and estate distributor roads having significant traffic flows and minor bus routes and school transport routes operated by Worcestershire County Council.  

In 2021/22, we carried out 68 grits in total and used 6,900 tonnes of rock salt which saw an increase on previous years. This because we have experienced the milder nature of the season as shown in the tables below: 

Number of Grits carried out by WCC 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22
Primary network 30 38 47 51
Secondary network 15 9 21 17
Total 45 47 68 68
Tonnes of rock salt used 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22
Primary network 4624 3273 4048 5840
Secondary network 503 538 1255 1056
Total 5127 3811 5303 6900

Tonnes CO2 5026 4234 3424 2680 (estimated)

Read more about our winter maintenance.

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