Warning that state of Norfolk’s roads will get worse

Council bosses have warned the state of Norfolk's roads is likely to deteriorate over the next year.

Council bosses have warned the state of Norfolk's roads is likely to deteriorate over the next year. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Just under £29m will be spent on Norfolk's roads over the next 12 months, but council bosses have admitted those millions will not be enough to prevent deterioration.

An estimated £36m would need to be spent to keep the county's roads in their current condition, according to transport bosses at Norfolk County Council.

But, with the council looking to make £189m of cuts and savings over the next three years, the Labour/Liberal Democrat administration today agreed it could only afford to spend £25.4m on structural maintenance.

A further £1.4m has been allocated on bridges and £2m on integrated transport schemes.

But officers, in a report which came before councillors, said that: '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'.

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They added it was hoped, in the next spending review period, that government grants would be increased to help tackle any deterioration.

Tom McCabe, interim director of environment, transport and development, said: 'The highways maintenance is probably the most valuable asset the county council owns.

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'We look at the condition over a 20 to 40 year period and the capital programme is the intervention we make each and every year.'

Among the money which will be spent is £1.6m to resurface principal roads, just under £1m to surface B roads and £3m on surface dressing on C roads.

Examples of specific projects to benefit from the integrated transport cash inlcudes £100,000 earmarked for a cycle contraflow in Magdalen Street in Norwich; £35,000 allocated to improve access to Diss railway station; £50,000 for CCTV at Thetford Bus Station and £60,000 towards improvements to the Saturday Marketplace in King's Lynn.

Some £200,000 is also available for the parish partnerships scheme, which sees the council and Norfolk Speed Camera Partnership support traffic improvement schemes from parish and town councils.

The council has received 73 bids, of which 68 have been successful, with details due to be revealed this week.

The cabinet also agreed that part-time 20mph speed limits will only be introduced outside schools where road safety risks are greatest, rather than outside every Norfolk school.

While the cabinet agreed its aspiration was to place them outside all schools, officers had said it would be unaffordable to introduce them at all schools.

Mick Castle, cabinet member for schools, said: 'It's a noble aspiration, but it is a case of looking at the schools in most need.'

• Does more need to be done to tackle speeding in Norfolk? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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