TRL publishes Network Study into Road Condition Monitoring Data to inform introduction of new PAS

The Department for Transport invites review and comment on evidence within consultation response to initial draft of PAS 2161

Published on 25 April 2024

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TRL has today published its report on a Network Study relating to the preparation of PAS 2161 for Road Condition Monitoring (RCM) Data.

The study was designed to compare the data provided by RCM technologies with benchmark data provided by engineers’ surveys. The study was conducted on 100km of the Surrey County Council road network, and worked with representatives from DfT, multiple Local Authorities, RCM providers and UKPMS. Eight local authority engineers collected benchmark RCM condition category data using a dedicated App when driven slowly around the study network. 11 RCM providers organised practical demonstrations of the collection of RCM data on this network using a range of technologies, including mobile phone Apps, SCANNER, engineers’ inspections, crowdsourcing and dedicated vehicle technologies.

This practical network study provided valuable insight on the collection of RCM data. Early on, workshops led to agreement on a suitable approach to how RCM condition categories should be defined in the new PAS, and this has been reflected in the draft PAS 2161. The real world technology demonstrations are helping  stakeholders to understand the performance of current RCM measurement technologies, and the potential impact on the transition to a new regime for national condition reporting.

Although the results from this study have already been taken into account by the team drafting PAS 2161, the publication of the study is the first chance for stakeholders to understand the basis of some of the proposed requirements.  BSI currently has an open consultation for stakeholders to submit their views on the draft PAS 2161.

“The network study”, said Dr Alex Wright, Chief Technologist at TRL and lead technical author of the draft PAS 2161, “has provided insight into the data that will be provided by new RCM technologies, and the performance and consistency of these technologies. Although there are still some challenges remaining, the study is supporting the transition to a new regime in national reporting of the condition of local road networks in England.”

Submissions to the consultation can be made here (British Standards Institution - Project ( until midnight on 07 May 2024.

The network study can be downloaded here (TRL | Road Condition Monitoring Data - Network Study



In England, Local Authorities provide network-level Road Condition Monitoring (RCM) data to the Department for Transport each year, so that the DfT can publish annual official statistics for road condition in England (national reporting).  Whilst a regime has been in place to collect this data since 2009, during this period significant progress has been made in the development of new and alternative technologies for the collection of data. This provides an opportunity to reconsider the approach taken to the collection and reporting of condition on the local road network, for both local and national reporting. The transition to a new regime is to be achieved via the introduction of a Publicly Available Standard (PAS 2161).

This practical network study was commissioned by the Dept for Transport to assist in the development of definitions for a new set of condition categories that will be deployed for national reporting (in the PAS). The trials undertaken in the study established an understanding of the data provided by current systems and the comparability of the condition categories reported. Comparing the data generated in the trials with the benchmark survey data has provided valuable insight into the implications for achieving consistency in a future PAS compliant data collection regime.

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