Research and Analytics


CIPFA Highways and Transportation Estimates Statistics

February 2005
This publication contains information on planned expenditure in 2004-05 together with related statistics on the construction and maintenance of roads, the support of public transport and other matters relating to transportation.

In order to enable more meaningful comparisons to be made, grossed totals are included for each class of authority from page 20 to 55 and pages 62 to 63. These take into account missing information and non-response. This has been effected by referring to information returned by authorities to last year's Highways Estimates Survey. Where a return has not been received from an authority the total will be derived by attributing the same level of increase among the class average for responders, to the information observed by the authority in the previous year. Where this figure is also missing, then the totals and distribution are scaled to the per capita class average.

In July 2003 the Greater London Authority (GLA) took over responsibility for Transport for London (TfL) including the London Underground. The resulting significant increase in expenditure has been shown in the gross totals in the main statistical tables but excluded from this commentary. This will therefore allow year on year trend analysis to reflect the true position of expenditure plans.

In 2004-05 local authorities in England and Wales are expecting total capital and current expenditure (excluding capital charges) on highways and transportation to amount to 5,874m compared with 5,384m in 2003-04, excluding the amounts for the Greater London Authority, an increase of 9.1%.

Without allowing for the implications of FRS17, discussed below, total current expenditure is expected to increase by 33 million (1.1%), whilst capital expenditure is expected to increase over the same period by 457 million (19.8%). Table 2 on page 3 shows expenditure for each class of authority and figure 1 analyses expenditure over the past five years.

Implications of FRS17

The full implementation of Financial Reporting Standard FRS17 was introduced to the Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom, A Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) and thus CIPFA's Best Value Accounting Code of Practice (BVACOP) from 1 April 2003. This resulted in a significant change in the way of accounting for retirement benefits. Under the previous arrangements, the amount of retirement benefit expenditure recognised was the employer's contribution to the pension fund or in the case of an unfunded scheme, benefits earned by employees in the year. The new FRS17 approach seeks to measure the true economic cost of pension benefits earned by employees in the year and recognises this as the expenditure for the year.

In total, 26 authorities responded using the FRS17 reporting basis. These authorities have been identified in the main statistics with '' and are listed below:
  • London Boroughs, Metropolitan Districts, Unitary Authorities, County Councils and Wales
    Brent, Haringey, Havering, Newham, Leeds, Luton, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Devon, Lancashire, Nottinghamshire, West Sussex and Newport
  • Non-Metropolitan Districts
    Cambridge, Purbeck, Hertsmere, Broadland, Kettering, Wansbeck, Newark and Sherwood, West Oxfordshire, Cannock Chase, Stafford, Mid Suffolk, St Edmundsbury and Tandridge

Impact of FRS17 on Highways and Transportation Net Current Expenditure 2004-05
Readers should be careful when comparing figures provided on a different accounting basis.

The most significant area of current expenditure is on the maintenance of highways. As illustrated in Figure 2 this accounts for 1,325m (42.5%) of local authorities' 2004-05 current expenditure plans. Table 2 highlights that the income from Car Parking reduced total current expenditure by 10.4% in England and Wales in 2004-05.

Figure 3 shows how the resources will be used and provides a comparison between principal roads and other local authority maintained roads. Maintenance expenditure in Figure 3 excludes expenditure by Non-Metropolitan Districts.

Readers are requested to refer to the general notes and the notes on individual authorities before attempting to interpret the statistics.

Summary of All Authorities' 2004-05 Estimated Expenditure (excluding GLA)
Net Expenditure - Five Year Trends (excluding GLA)
Summary of All Authorities' 2004-05 Expenditure Plans (excluding GLA)
Use of Maintenance Resources 2004-05 (including Capital Charges)

February 2005

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