Liberal Democrats in B&NES are questioning how far a government grant to fix potholes will stretch, given the high costs of road repairs and the number of local roads waiting for resurfacing.
Councillor Neil Butters (Bathavon South), Lib Dem Transport spokesperson, commented: “Additional funding for road repairs is welcome; however this sum will barely scratch the surface of what is needed.
“Residents will want to know where this money will be spent, which communities will benefit and why B&NES has received the lowest award of all South West Councils.”
“The previous Lib Dem administration allocated an extra £2.2M of local money for highways, over and above the government grant, to help address the backlog in repairs.
“The Conservatives have slashed this maintenance fund by £1.7M and the government annual grant itself has been reduced by £126,000 compared to last year.
“The extra £176,000 from the government won’t go far to make up the shortfall.”
“The high costs of road schemes are also a cause for concern. As an example, in Bathavon South, local residents have been waiting for resurfacing of the Peasedown-Wellow road, which goes past Shoscombe.
“The scheme costs have doubled to £170,000 and this will cover just a small section, rather than the original plan which would have repaired the whole road.”
Combe Down’s Lib Dem Councillor, Cherry Beath, added: “On the national scale, the Local Government Association has warned that the £50M the government has allocated for the pothole fund is about £11.75bn less than councils need to do the job properly.
“The condition of our roads is only going to get worse unless the government addresses it as a national priority.”
“I have been calling on the Council to allocate funding for repairs to North Road in Combe Down and I will be asking the Cabinet member to confirm whether this will now go ahead.”