£5m needed to avert highways crisis in North Yorkshire

17/02/2014
Highways Reporters

A contribution of at least £5 million is needed to avert a crisis on the roads of North Yorkshire.

That’s the message from the leader of North Yorkshire County Council John Weighell who has written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, appealing to him at least to match a £5m pot of money which has been set aside to tackle urgently needed highways repairs.

Councillor Weighell is hoping to raise the issue when he meets McLoughlin in London next week.

In a letter to McLoughlin, Cllr Weighell reveals that a quarter of the county's minor roads – which cover a distance of 5,000 kilometres and constitute more than half the network ­– are in urgent need of repairs. He says the issue "is rapidly becoming a crisis".

The council has declared the state of the highway network a major priority and has allocated an extra £5m towards the repairs, even though it is facing severe financial cuts across the board.

Cllr Weighell acknowledges some increased funding from central government, but says the annual allocation of £28m still falls far short of the estimated annual expenditure of £60m required to address the problems.

"We are considering investing more of our reserves if you are prepared to invest with us," he wrote in his letter to McLoughlin.

"Insufficient funding for highway maintenance is not a problem unique to North Yorkshire, but I believe we feel the pain particularly badly. North Yorkshire is the biggest local authority in England by area and has the third largest road network. The topography of North Yorkshire means we are vulnerable to extreme weather. Our dispersed population and our rural economy make our minor roads particularly important. Added to this, the cars, HGVs and agricultural vehicles are getting heavier and larger and this has increased their impact on the condition of these minor roads."

An analysis prepared by the council's highways officers shows that the maintenance backlog for the entire network is approximately £322m, more than half of it within the "category four" minor road classification. Even if the backlog was removed, the council estimates that it would still require £60m a year simply to maintain the highways in good condition.

Cllr Weighell added: "Of course, we are not just throwing money at the problem. New and improved systems allow better management and ensure we get the best possible value for money. This has allowed us to arrest the deterioration of our most heavily used roads. However, this has been at the expense of our minor roads."

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Also Inside:

  • Buying better roads
  • Coming clean on carbon
View the latest issue


Highways jobs

Project Manager

£32,798 to £38,553
The post holder will be required to undertake all project management duties necessary to deliver those essential activities. Torfaen (Tor-faen)
Recruiter: Torfaen County Borough Council

Parking Team Leader

£28,226 - £29,174
We have an opportunity for a Parking Team Leader to join our team in West Cumbria. Cumbria
Recruiter: Cumbria County Council

Recycling Monitoring Officer

£27,009 - £31,155
Turn your environmental passion into practical action. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recruiter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Engineer (Highways)

£37,491 - £44,598
To provide operational delivery of a range of specialist professional and technical services for the Highways Group. Tower Hamlets, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Tower Hamlets London Borough Council

Senior Engineer (Assets and Design) – Assets

£36,371 - £38,553
We are seeking to recruit a Senior Engineer (Asset and Design) to join our Highway Asset and Design team. Aberaeron, Ceredigion (Sir Ceredigion)
Recruiter: Ceredigion County Council

Assistant Director of Highways and Engineering

to £85,239
Imagine a diverse town full of contrasts, a strong identity and residents who are proud to call it home. Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recruiter: Bolton Council

Assistant Engineer (Assets and Design)

£25,419 - £30,984
We are seeking to recruit an Assistant Engineer (Asset and Design) to join our Highway Asset and Design team. Aberaeron, Ceredigion (Sir Ceredigion)
Recruiter: Ceredigion County Council

Senior Engineer (Assets and Design) – Structures

£36,371 - £38,553
We are seeking to recruit a Chartered Structural Engineer to join our Highway Asset and Design team on a permanent, full-time basis. Aberaeron, Ceredigion (Sir Ceredigion)
Recruiter: Ceredigion County Council

Senior Engineer (Highways Development Control)

£36,371 - £38,553
We are looking to recruit a highly-motivated, creative and innovative and suitably qualified or experienced Senior Engineer. Aberaeron, Ceredigion (Sir Ceredigion)
Recruiter: Ceredigion County Council

Senior Engineer

£35,336 to £41,591
The successful applicant should hold a degree or equivalent in a technical/engineering subject and have 5 years’ experience. Newbury, Berkshire
Recruiter: West Berkshire Council

Transport Strategy Officers

£33702 - £35432 per annum + generous pension, agile working + more
The Transport Strategy team at Buckinghamshire council is recruiting to 4 exciting new roles, focusing on our priorities to encourage people to travel England, Buckinghamshire, Aylesbury
Recruiter: Buckinghamshire Council

Specialist Heavy Plant Operator

£22,571 - £24,920
This new opportunity/position is to work within both the Northumberland County Council SE Maintenance. Northumberland
Recruiter: Northumberland County Council

Engineer Highway Development Control (2 posts)

£29,174 - £39,571
An exciting opportunity has arisen for 2 Engineers to join our extremely busy Highway Development Control. Barnsley, South Yorkshire
Recruiter: Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Active Travel Officer

£29,174 - £31,895
As an Active Travel Officer, you will provide specialist support to a portfolio of agreed initiatives or work areas. Barnsley, South Yorkshire
Recruiter: Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Network Coordination Assistant

£19,650 - £20,043
This is an exciting opportunity to work in the Network Management team within the Highways service. Barnsley, South Yorkshire
Recruiter: Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Development and Flood Risk Officer

£28,373
Essex is committed to enabling inclusive economic growth. Essex (Anywhere Worker)
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Waste Management Operative

£20,468
Leicestershire County Councils, Contracts and Haulage Team are looking to recruit a Waste Management Operator to join the team. Leicestershire
Recruiter: Leicestershire County Council

Waste Transfer Station Plant Operative

£20,807
An exciting opportunity has arisen within the Waste Management Delivery Service. Leicestershire
Recruiter: Leicestershire County Council

Contract Management Officer

£22,571 - £32,798
Cambridgeshire County Council is seeking to appoint a Contract Management Officer into the Highways Contracts and Commissioning Team. Various places - working out of office base
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Waste Management Supervisor

£24,283.58 - £26,812.09
The role will be responsible for supervising the Waste Transfer Station and Internal Haulage operation. Leicestershire
Recruiter: Leicestershire County Council

Highways Presents

 

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Video