Bill to clear backlog of repairs on Norfolk roads climbs to £45m
PUBLISHED: 16:40 08 September 2020 | UPDATED: 17:06 08 September 2020
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The bill to bring Norfolk’s road network up to the standards they were at more than a decade ago has increased to more than £45m, council bosses have said.
Norfolk County Council said it would need to spend that amount to clear a backlog of maintenance and get roads up to the standard they were at in 2007 - with the figure having increased from £36.4m last year.
However, council bosses said recent government funding means they do have more money than they have had for years to get roads fixed.
A report to go before members of the council’s infrastructure and development select committee, states there has been “a slight deterioration in the condition of bridges, footways and ‘A’ roads.”
But council officers say that the budget for repairs and maintenance is £59.2m, following a number of government announcements - so there is money to spend on fixing roads.
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And they say last year’s National Highways and Transport network survey, where 3,300 Norfolk people, chosen at random to rate a range of highway and transportation services, led to the county being ranked first out of 28 county councils, including for condition of highways and highways maintenance.
Martin Wilby, cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: “We clearly recognise there has been a slight deterioration in our maintenance backlog.
“There are probably a few reasons for that and one would be the amount of funding we had received last year. But this year, we have had £22m from the government which is a significant increase.
“We are still in a fairly good place. Yes, we’ve had a slight increase in the cost of the backlog, but we are expecting that to come down.
“We are spending millions on a resurfacing scheme for the A1066 from Thetford to Riddlesworth and schemes like that will make a big difference.”
The council report also reveals how the council wants to invest £45,000 to get further data about traffic on the county’s roads to help with future government applications for funding.
Officers say that would help identify how improvements could ease congestion, with studies in June last year highlighting heavy morning congestion on the A140 north and south of Norwich, on the A149 at King’s Lynn and on the A1151 Wroxham Road.
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