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Multi-million pound budget to maintain highways network to be discussed at meeting

01 March 2022

The allocation of millions of pounds to maintain Cambridgeshire’s highways network over the next two years could be approved at a forthcoming meeting.

Members of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Highways and Transport Committee will discuss on 8 March whether to approve the budget and the timetable of repairs over the coming 24 months.

The programme of proposed works places more emphasis on drainage and flood prevention than in previous years. It also gives priority to the most urgent highways schemes while allowing for a long-term preventative strategy to be put in place. This will ensure other parts of the network do not deteriorate significantly and don’t need more expensive repairs in the future.

The decision on how best to spend the budget has been put together by council officers using data including: road condition, accident records, third party claims, local knowledge and reports from the public. It is now up to councillors to decide whether to approve the plan, or request changes to it.

All schemes which are approved will be timed to ensure the highways network can continue to be used effectively while works are being carried out.

The council has in recent years received the maximum available funding from the Government for maintenance of its highways network thanks to its evidenced long-term approach, and is hopeful of a similar outcome for the 2022/23 financial year.

Cllr Peter McDonald, chair of the Highways and Transport Committee, said: “By planning how we spend our money to improve and maintain our highways network over multiple years it allows us to focus both on the more pressing short-term needs, as well as ensure we can use our budget to carry out any long-term preventative measures. This is important as delaying repairs can lead to a much larger bill in the future.

“This approach has in previous years allowed us to show to the Government we have a robust strategy in place, with the Department for Transport rewarding us with the maximum amount of funding available to carry out the works.

“I would also like to stress that decisions made on how we spend our budget are agreed after a robust planning stage, which includes feedback from residents, as shown by the decision to spend more on drainage and flood prevention than in previous years. Thank you to everyone who has been in touch and please feel reassured that your views are always listened to.”

The committee will also consider a longer term three-five year plan of action at its meeting.

The committee papers can be found here and will be discussed at the Highways and Transport Committee on 8 March. The meeting will be live streamed on the council’s YouTube channel here.