Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Transport bosses are hoping a government windfall will mean an extra £3m to £4m can be spent to fix Norfolk’s damaged roads.
And Norfolk County Council is also preparing to lobby the government once again to secure even more cash to help repair drought, frost and rain-damaged Fen roads.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced at the weekend that an extra £140m would be made available to help repair roads hit by weather damage.
While Norfolk County Council has yet to get notification of how much that will mean for the county, a multi-million pound boost looks likely.
Tom McCabe, interim director of environment, transport and development at Norfolk County Council, said: “We have not had official confirmation as to how much Norfolk County Council will get, but we hope it will be something between £3m to £4m, which will need to be spent on highways maintenance before the summer.
“As soon as we get details, we will propose how we will spend the money, because we need to get it spent fairly quickly.”
Last week, the Labour/Liberal Democrat administration agreed it could only afford to spend £25.4m on structural maintenance of the highways network, with the authority looking to make £189m of cuts and savings over the next three years.
The council agreed to cut £1m from the highways maintenance budget, as part of the Putting People First Consultation.
Officers had warned: “There is likely to be some deterioration of highway condition as the annual need is calculated to be in the region of £36m to maintain current condition levels.”
Spending will include £1.6m to resurface principal roads, just under £1m to surface B roads and £3m on surface dressing on C roads.
Councillors had asked whether the extra cash could be used to patch up the Fen roads, which have been particularly badly damaged in recent years.
A funding bid from Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire county councils, plus Peterborough City Council, for extra cash for those roads failed in 2012.
But council bosses revealed they, and other councils, are planning to renew that appeal.
Mr McCabe said: “We are in the process of submitting further evidence to the government on the maintenance of the Fen Roads.”
• Which roads in Norfolk do you think are most in need of repairs? Let us know your views by writing, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.