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Proposals for biggest highways maintenance investment in a decade gets committee support

23 January 2024

Budget proposals that would see the biggest investment in highways maintenance for over a decade, were scrutinised and supported by a majority of Highways & Transport committee members today (Tuesday, 23 January), ahead of February’s meeting of Full Council.

The Highways and Transport committee has a significant role in ensuring travel across the county is safer and more environmentally sustainable. This is why, the council plans to prioritise:

  • Investment of £43m over the next two years, both revenue and capital into highways. This will be to deliver improvements which both repair and prevent potholes, deliver improved drainage schemes, preventative work on the roads, footpaths and cycleways including peat soil affected roads, sign and road marking maintenance, improvements to public rights of way, bridges maintenance and improving traffic light technology.

Other proposals include:

  • Ongoing capital investment in major infrastructure and transport schemes, such as local highway improvements, road safety schemes, major projects and improvements like the St Ives improvement scheme
  • Reviewing fees relating to parking and traffic management to encourage sustainable modes of transport. The proposal is to increase fees by 20p and the income will be used to fund delivery of highways and transport services across the county
  • Delivery of savings relating to the LED street lighting programme which is progressing well and is anticipated to save the council £977,000 next year and £414,000 for 2025/26
  • Delivery of savings by recycling highways materials, this project is to establish a facility to allow materials and waste from highways maintenance work to be reused as recycled materials.

Members of the Strategy, Resources and Performance Committee agreed to debate the proposals put forward in December, at all the council’s January service committees, as well as launching an online public survey and seeking views of Town and Parish Councils, public sector authorities, business leaders and, most importantly, from residents.

Cambridgeshire County Council’s proposals for its 2024/5 budget is being called ‘the toughest year to set a balanced council budget’ whilst the council is looking to support vulnerable people and improve highways maintenance and seeking to bridge a remaining £2m gap.

Cllr Alex Beckett, Chair of the Highways and Transport Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “We recognise the deterioration in our highways and that there is more to do. It is important to note that the Quality-of-Life Survey showed that 76% of respondents were dissatisfied with the condition of Cambridgeshire’s road and footpaths. This is why these budget proposals provide investment and is the biggest single year investment for over a decade.

“We know the impact poor roads can have on us, we want people to have safe and smooth routes when they travel. After decades of national underfunding, compounded by extreme weather, it has resulted in problems across our network. While this investment won’t fix it all, I’m proud we’re proposing to put this money in and give our residents the roads, paths and cycleways they deserve.”

The views of all committees, those drawn from the online survey and meetings with groups including Town and Parish Councils, business leaders and trade unions, will be combined before the S, R &P committee makes a final recommendation at its meeting on 30 January to Full Council, which then meets to debate and agree the Council’s budget on 13 February.

For more information on the council’s proposals for the coming year visit - Consultation begins on Cambridgeshire budget proposals ahead of ‘toughest year’ for local councils - Cambridgeshire County Council