Buckinghamshire Highways Asset Management Strategy 2021

Last updated: 4 February 2022

Risks and opportunities

This strategy provides the organisation with an opportunity to determine external and internal issues that are relevant to its purpose and that affect its ability to achieve the intended outcomes of its asset management system. Buckinghamshire Highways (BH) has therefore undertaken a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis to help determine its ability to deliver the Asset Management Objectives.

The SWOT analysis tabulated below is a record of the risks and opportunities pertaining to BH’s ability to deliver its five Asset Management Objectives.

This analysis informs the development of a SWOT Action Plan to take advantage of the organisation’s internal strengths and external opportunities and develop actions to resolve the impediments arising from its weaknesses and external threats. The SWOT Action Plan is guided by the Strategic Transport and Infrastructure Board and is subjected to the Contract Management Review. The AMB monitors implementation of the SWOT actions and in so doing supports the continual improvement process to develop its asset management processes and activities to better deliver its objectives.

Action plan

Arising from the SWOT analysis the following high-level actions were considered necessary, to be addressed through appropriate means, including improvement plans.

The actions deemed necessary from the SWOT analysis were:

  1. Improve focus on technology and the utilisation of technology to improve environmental standing and improve the capability of the organisation (multiple).
  2. Improve staff resilience through succession planning.
  3. Consolidate service provision to focus on the delivery that we have promised.
  4. Ensure shareholders are proper strategic partners to the council.
  5. Develop joint BH / Client approach to support member management through appropriate communication.
  6. Key staff to develop strategic thinking within the organisation;
  7. Develop committed long term, four-year budgets;
  8. Remove blockages from technology to enable full utilisation of systems;
  9. Make the most of England Economic Heartlands and LEPs with help from Strategic Partners;
  10. Clarify and communicate the governance process for the new authority;
  11. Develop plan to deal with Extreme weather events, climate change and carbon reduction/sustainability (Environmental Plan);
  12. Demonstrate adequate quality control process are in place ensuring good quality workmanship.

Strengths and weaknesses


Strengths identified in our ability to carry out the Asset Management objectives include:

  • the ISO55001 Certified Asset Management System
  • Ringway Jacobs profit locked into contract, aims to maximise efficiency and gains
  • governance of contract
  • expertise of the people and capable staff
  • integrated organisation
  • internationally renowned shareholders
  • the ability for the council to use the contract to procure and adjust existing and additional services
  • notional 4 year budgets (however focus on annual budgets)
  • an excellent relationship with supply chain
  • improved collaborative working through the Future Highways Research Group
  • alignment of budgets and targets
  • zero based annual plans
  • stakeholder engagements
  • clear highway maintenance strategy
  • good quality of workmanship
  • a permit scheme
  • network hierarchy
  • a gold standard gazetteer
  • ability to enforce action upon utilities
  • the amount of energy efficient lighting
  • good investment into training and development
  • ability of the organisation to adapt to challenges/change (resilience/can do attitude)
  • road safety culture
  • internal Ringway Jacobs collaboration with other contracts (Essex etc.)
  • strong commitment to Local Recruitment and small and medium sized enterprises (SME's)
  • Internal Audit Process
  • Think Safe Home Safe
  • reorganised team structure
  • embracing flexible working patterns


Weaknesses identified in our ability to carry out the Asset Management objectives include:

  • the ability to generate efficiency
  • systems and IT – lack of enabling systems to drive efficiency and IT blockers
  • the wider misconception and lack of clarity around finance management, terms, fees, disallowed costs, gain share etc.
  • lack of fixed long-term budgets
  • competing demands within the council
  • wider understanding of boundaries of current contract
  • inconsistent filtering of messages through the organisation
  • the organisation needs greater strategic focus
  • the lack of dilapidation models
  • the depot operational model
  • lack of definition of and execution of benchmarking
  • ability to prove value for money in all cases
  • poor collaborative working within road closures, especially involving external utilities
  • lack of consultation and awareness of developments
  • demonstrating innovation or the value of innovation
  • lack of clear and understood environmental plan and performance measures
  • contract- focus on maintenance not improvements
  • lack of long term plan to improve accessibility
  • limited succession planning
  • limited understanding of governance process within new Authority
  • an aging workforce
  • plan to address climate change and carbon reduction


Opportunities identified in carrying out the Asset Management objectives include:

  • a flexible contract with ability to change over time
  • utilisation of longer term budgets
  • opportunities within the new, larger authority
  • England’s Economic Heartland
  • HS2 and East West Rail Link
  • Local Government Enterprise Partnerships
  • stakeholder engagements
  • shareholders to showcase their abilities.
  • utilisation of Internet of things (IOT) and smart data
  • self-service, digitalisation and becoming personable
  • utilisation of future technology
  • use of Artificial Intelligence
  • develop partnerships with technology companies
  • reduce, reuse, recycle
  • Aylesbury Garden Town
  • devolution
  • Buckinghamshire Council Service Review
  • new members and new Cabinet Members
  • Oxford to Cambridge Express way
  • collaboration with ADEPT
  • engagement with other bodies for example MHA, MSIG, FHRG etc.
  • wider collaboration with other Buckinghamshire Council services
  • electrical vehicle charging points
  • remote working


Threats to our ability to carry out the Asset Management objectives could include:

  • the market has changed since initial contract and Client / RJ reluctance to adapt contract to current market
  • the customer expectation gap
  • different customer groups with different demands
  • Brexit – change of culture and embedded processes
  • HS2 and East west rail link
  • visibility of the Local Government Enterprise Partnerships
  • change in political leadership
  • an increased number of Members
  • Member expectations
  • lack of understanding of the value of Education, Training, Publicity for stakeholders
  • ageing assets
  • utilities conforming and complying with regulations
  • growth within the county
  • assets not being set up for aging and growing population
  • adapting to future technology
  • un-notified developments
  • traffic growth / change in traffic mix
  • increasing material costs and energy prices – budgets struggling to keep up
  • the ability to adapt existing infrastructure
  • digitalisation - impact on satisfaction levels and isolation
  • COVID-19 changing ways of working
  • a potential recession effecting budgets
  • extreme weather events and climate change
  • the resilience of the network