Councillors at Nottinghamshire’ County Council’s Transport and Environment Committee discussed proposals to make a significant investment in patching as part of £15m additional funding in roads and the environment over the next four years.
The funding will specifically target a right repair, right first time, approach that delivers permanent repairs whenever possible, and will involve increasing the number of structural patching teams that operate on Nottinghamshire’s highways network.
This was agreed at the council’s Finance and Major Projects committee on Monday (7 February) but is subject to Full Council final approval when the Council sets its budget on 24 February.
The funding announcement comes on the back of the all-party Highways Review which took place last year. The additional funds will come from an earmarked reserve for highways and environmental improvements.
Councillor Neil Clarke MBE, Chairman of the Transport and Environment committee said: “The cross-party review group agreed recommendations to improve the County’s roads at the end of last year. Officers were tasked with delivering a new highways improvement plan and this is what we’ve agreed today.
“The Leader of Council, Councillor Ben Bradley MP, prioritised roads as a key area to improve at the start of our administration and on the back of this I can tell you that this work has now started and will continue as a key priority. Part of the funding will allow us to employ additional structural road patching staff who can cover more of the county, getting it right first time.
“We will also be changing the way we communicate with residents to help improve the way we do things; we want to make it easier for people to report issues to us and when we’re out working, we want you to know what we’re doing and why.
“We’re exploring every avenue available to us to improve our highways. That includes looking at all of the options on the table from Government, including county deals and the new model of Combined Authority which we’ll be discussing with Government very soon. In the meantime, our own investment of £15m will start to address improvements in our roads that residents expect and deserve, and I am proud that we can put our money where our mouth is on this important subject.”
Key objectives agreed today include:
- Move to a right first-time approach to highway maintenance and reduce the need to use reactive short-term maintenance
- Publish a three-year programme of capital works to keep residents informed of future plans
- Maintain network condition and seek to improve it within financial constraints
- Prioritise local roads and footways
- Work with communities alongside improving communications, so that residents understand our approaches and are better informed about future plans
- Increase our effectiveness and efficiency, maximising return on investment by ensuring that our highways maintenance and management works are driven by our policies and strategy.
Councillor Clarke added: “The Highways Review Panel will continue its work to monitor and review the new plans and ways of working. We will also be prioritising a review of road safety measures and 20mph speed limits following the motion at the last Full Council in January.”