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Maintaining roads

Funding and priorities

Devon County Council’s last five years highway maintenance funding allocations are as follows: 

Highway maintenance Funding Allocations

Funding for the Highways and Traffic Management service is either capital or revenue allocation. 

Capital expenditure

Capital expenditure reflects investment in an asset and is defined in the Accounting Code of Practice as ‘expenditure which adds to, and not merely maintains, the value of a fixed asset.’ Highway works eligible for capital funding include activities that: 

  • extend the life of the asset, such as resurfacing schemes 
  • enable construction of improved infrastructure, including the purchasing of land, such as the South Devon Link Road 
  • replace an existing feature with an enhanced structure, such as major drainage improvements and the construction of new retaining walls 

The majority of capital funding comes to us as a direct grant from central government, with the remainder allocated by County Council borrowing or from capital receipts, such as the sale of land. 

Revenue expenditure

Revenue expenditure covers day-to-day expenditure and income, including works that maintain, rather than increase, the value of a fixed asset. 

Some examples of revenue items are works involving repair of safety defects, minor drainage repairs, grass cutting and winter maintenance. It also includes the running costs of the service, such as staffing, premises costs and income received from, for example licences and applications. 

Revenue funding is available via the community charge, business rates and funds provided by central government. Another source of revenue funding is on-street parking.

Any surplus revenue generated from on-street parking after the operating and management costs have been accounted for can be spent on things like public transport provision, highway improvements and environmental improvements but not general highway maintenance work.