Warning over funding for road maintenance

Cllr Rob Humby
Cllr Rob Humby
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A COUNCIL has been handed an extra £5m to maintain roads – but is warning it is already not getting enough cash for day-to-day roadworks.

Hampshire County Council received the cash for capital maintenance from the new National Productivity Investment Fund.

But a councillor has sounded caution, saying government’s cuts to revenue grants is leading to delays in maintenance.

Councillor Rob Humby, executive member for environment and transport at the council, said: ‘Overall, it looks like the government has given us £5m with one hand and taking away £5m with the other.

‘This means we can maintain the same level of spend on roads as in recent years but this is directed more than ever to long term capital improvement works leaving less resource for the day to day activities which I know are important to residents.

‘With ever increasing traffic and the continued squeeze on council budgets, I believe the time is right for the government to look at the significant sums it receives from motoring taxes and gives councils the revenue and capital resources to maintain the critical infrastructure that supports local communities and keeps the national economy going.’

The cash handed to the council can be spent on improving road conditions to help with potholes and repair and maintain infrastructure.

Cllr Humby added: ‘This is welcome recognition for Hampshire’s long-term asset management approach, maintaining the roads in the most cost-effective way.

‘This is the approach we’ve taken for some time in Hampshire, investing around an extra £10m from our budget each year into our successful Operation Resilience programme to make the roads more resilient to the long-term impact of heavy traffic and winter weather.

‘This work has included hundreds of drainage improvements as well as footway works and road resurfacing across the county.’

Revenue grants for councils have been slashed in recent years.