Funding pledge could boost repairs to Lichfield’s roads

Roadworks sign. Pic: Auntie P

Roadworks sign. Pic: Auntie P

Lichfield’s roads could be set to benefit after Staffordshire County Council unveiled plans to double spending on highway maintenance.

The new County Council administration have moved to reassure residents who have complained about the state of roads across Staffordshire and have claimed they will pump an extra £30million in over the next three years.

Council leader Phillip Atkins revealed that the issue of the poor standards of highways was “the biggest single local issue raised on the doorstep”.

He added:

“This £30m is an enormous increase in funding. It will help boost this critical network and reinforce the team’s innovative maintenance programme, underpinning future prosperity and security for Staffordshire people. The previous administration placed a low priority on highways. This has seriously hampered Staffordshire’s economic competitiveness and left communities frustrated.

“Staffordshire’s highway team have rightly been praised over recent years for delivering real value for money. They have made year on year savings during a severe squeeze on budgets. But this has meant a managed decline in the condition of some of Staffordshire’s roads. Those days are now over.

“The highways team have fought hard to keep on top of the symptoms but their hands have been tied. There was just not enough investment in the infrastructure.  We are determined to get Staffordshire back on track, not just apply temporary sticking plasters.”

According to the County Council, the first £5m will be invested before April next year, adding 50 per cent extra to the £10m highway maintenance budget for the period.

And next year will see the budget double with £10m extra.

That breaks down in this year to:

  • £3.3m on an extra 46 highway upgrade projects
  • An extra £1m on patching and potholes action
  • An extra £600,000 on pavements
  • £300,000 more on drainage action

The programme was already committed to spending £9m on 65 highways improvement projects and £1.3m on 38 pavement projects.

Cabinet member for Highways Mike Maryon said the doubling of spend, kicked off half way through the year, had meant real pressure to deliver.

Mr Maryon said the team were up for it but warned against over expectation. He explained:

“This programme of extra investment in the Highways is like turning a super tanker around – it takes time to change course and the results will be seen over the long term. This is just the first bit hit. So if you don’t see action near you now, there will be something in the pipeline in the years ahead.

“This extra money is much more that a belated drive to plug the potholes problem, It’s about an carefully targeted investment in the future of network.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.