£40m pledged for roads
PUBLISHED: 08:46 03 February 2015 | UPDATED: 08:46 03 February 2015
NORTH Somerset Council has pledged to invest a further £10.5million into the region’s roads, meaning a total of £40million will be pumped into its highways in the next five years.
The extra £2million per year will be added to the £29.5million already pledged by the council to go into improving the district’s road network.
The authority’s executive member for highways, Elfan Ap Rees, said: “Investing in roads remains high on the agenda for us. We are committed to doing more to improve the condition of North Somerset’s roads and this additional investment will make a huge difference.
“We know the condition of our roads is a major concern of residents. We are committed to improving the transport infrastructure of North Somerset to make it as easy as possible for our residents, businesses and visitors to get from A to B.
“Pledging this money now for the next five years will enable us to invest strategically in road maintenance and start to make a real improvement in the overall condition of our roads.”
There is hope the money will improve issues with potholes in the region, as figures released by the RAC Foundation reveal the authority forked out £17,000 in 2013-14 on compensation claims.
Despite currently ranking 30 out of more than 200 authorities the number of claims has reduced in the region, with 384 made in 2013-14 compared with 438 in 2012-13, with the 84 successful claims in the past year costing the council £17,908 – £11,894 less than the previous year.
Leader of the Liberal Democrat’s for North Somerset, Mike Bell, said: “These aren’t particularly surprising figures, because we know many of our roads are in a terrible state of repair.
“The extra £2million a year in funding is very welcome. But, with a repairs backlog of £30million and new damage occurring every day, there is still a long way to go before we have roads and pavements that are fit for purpose.”
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