Budget proposals pave the way for better roads
Well maintained roads are not just good news for motorists, they help stimulate the local economy and highway improvements have been identified as a top priority by both the public and Buckinghamshire county councillors.
This year, a £25 million two-year investment programme was agreed by the County Council and work started on more than 250 major resurfacing schemes in mid-July. The improvements to Buckinghamshire's roads soon became visible, with highly favourable feedback from the public. Investment will need to continue over several years, to fully tackle the maintenance backlog. And at today's (Monday 12 December) Cabinet, members considering draft budget proposals agreed to add another £5 million to the capital programme to continue the work, bringing the total funding over two years to £30 million.
Over the two-year lifetime of the scheme, the County's 57 Members can each choose five sites in their wards for highway improvements, and are listening to where their electorate want priorities made. These proposals will now go out for further public consultation, be reviewed by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee before a final budget is agreed by full Council on 16 February 2012.
Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire County Council, said: "We are a customer-focused authority. The public have told us time after time they want decent roads. Spending money on improving our roads will help boost local businesses and make Buckinghamshire an even more attractive option to visitors and new businesses. "We have reserves set aside just for these times, and it makes sense to draw on these funds to start getting our highway network up to standard and to help the local economy during these straitened times. However, this is only the beginning of a long programme that will be necessary to truly make our roads meet residents' legitimate expectations."
Peter Hardy, Cabinet Member for Transport said: "The 'We're Working on It' project has been a huge success and communities all over the county have benefited from the improvements. We've received really positive feedback from the public, so the extra funding for the coming financial year is really good news."