Cumbria Councils warns that maintenance cuts will see more roads deteriorate

Cumbria Council has said that repairs to its road network might be affected because of a £$0 million cut in government funding over the next four years.

Cumbria County Council said the cut of £10m a year would mean roads and highways would “deteriorate”.It had hoped the cuts would be for just one year but had been told it would be effective over four years.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said it was giving local authorities £5bn for road maintenance over five years.

A spokesman added that it was for local authorities to decide how that money was spent, including on repairing potholes, reports the BBC.

However, the Labour leader of Cumbria County Council, Stewart Young, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “I know we agreed at council to put £1.2m extra into the highways revenue budget but you’ll see that will make very little impact compared to a loss of that scale in investment.

“The public see the potholes in the road, they see that roads aren’t getting repaired as they were but they need to understand if we lose that amount of money, there’s only one possible consequence which is that the highways network will deteriorate.”

The county council has already set its budget for the 2022-23 financial year which includes a £20,000 underspend on highways.

However, member of the Conservative opposition Mike Mitchelson said more needed to be done to fix potholes.

“From the public’s point of view, if the public picked a report up and it said ‘the highways budget will involve a £20,000 underspend’, the public’s going to say ‘why can’t we have the potholes fixed?’,” he said.

“We shouldn’t be doing an underspend when we’ve got major requests for potholes.”

A DfT spokesman said: “The government is providing more than £5bn of investment over 2020-2025 for highways maintenance to local highways authorities across England.

“This is enough to fill millions of potholes a year, repair dozens of bridges, and resurface roads up and down the country.”

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