Council boosts highways maintenance cash by £20m

26/01/2012
Highways Reporters

Staffordshire council is pumping an extra £20m into highways maintenance.

The extra funding will be spent on preventative maintenance and will save money in the long run compared to a programme of emergency repairs.

Council chiefs have raised the cash through a cost-cutting drive including shutting down local authority offices.

Cabinet member for Highways and Transport Mike Maryon said money would be invested over two years with the plan due to be agreed at a meeting on February 1.

Staffordshire said it “sees highways as an important quality of life issue but also one which is at the centre of its commitment to bring jobs and prosperity to the county.”

The council added: “Money can also be saved by maintaining roads now to prevent trouble later.”

The move comes after residents told the council it should prioritise road maintenance and deal with potholes.

Maryon, Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “Local people have made it very clear to us that keeping Staffordshire roads properly maintained is their big issue.

“That’s why we earmarked £30 million two years ago and why we are again making this our top priority for the next two years.

“When we came in to power in 2009 we inherited an under investment in the highways network that meant it had deteriorated to a large extent and was on the brink of major decline.

“We know that the initial investment has paid off in terms of better roads and a more efficient repairs service but that was only a stop gap measure as more had to be done. This new money would make sure the good work continues into the foreseeable future.

“Using savings from money that we have created from not doing silly things like having too many buildings, being more innovative and efficient in how we work with and reinvesting it in to Staffordshire is common sense.”
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