Extra cash will see more Norfolk roads fixed

Council bosses are to spend more money to fix Norfolk's roads.

Council bosses are to spend more money to fix Norfolk's roads. - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHI

An extra 50 miles of Norfolk's roads will be repaired, thanks to a government hand-out to tackle damage caused by winter weather, county councillors have agreed.

Norfolk County Council's controlling Conservative cabinet today agreed how to spend millions of pounds of extra money awarded to the authority by the government.

The government announced in December that it would make £5.7m available to the county council to use over the next two years, and the cabinet decided how to use £3.7m in the coming financial year.

The cabinet agreed that £1.8m will be used on surface dressing and £1.4m on road surfacing, which the council says will enable just under 50 miles more to be treated.

While the annual bill just to maintain the current condition of the county's roads is £35m, the cabinet agreed to spend just over £26m on structural maintenace.

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A further £1.4m will be spent on bridges, with a further £2m earmarked for integrated transport schemes.

The council had already agreed to set aside a further £2m for specific highway improvement projects identified by town and parish councils through a 'parish partnerships' intitiative and forother road improvements to support communities and businesses.

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Alison Thomas, cabinet member for children's services and county councillor for Long Stratton, said: 'The increased investment in surface dressing is very welcome and something my residents will be very keen to see.'

Graham Plant, cabinet member for planning and transportation said the council would continue its attempts to get extra cash to repair drought, frost and rain-damaged Fen roads.

Funding bids from Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire county councils, plus Peterborough City Council, to patch-up worse than expected drought damage in the Fens failed last year.

Transport minister Norman Baker insisted it would be unfair on national taxpayers and local authorities to provide more cash on top of existing grants to the region.

But Norfolk county councillors have again joined with neighbouring authorities to push the government to fund improvements across the four counties.

Mr Plant said: 'We have had a difficult time in the west. We have allocated some structural maintenance to that and it looks like we will have to do some more of that in the future.'

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