Dorset Council’s Cabinet is being asked to approve a further £6.3million to help repair and maintain the county’s roads, footways, and cycleways.
When approving the 2021/22 budget on 16 February 2021, Dorset Council allocated £15m of new capital funding for specific projects that had not been prioritised at that stage. In a paper being brought to Cabinet on Tuesday 6 April, recommendations from officers for projects to be funded from that total are being put forward for approval.
One of those projects increases investment into highway infrastructure assets by £6.3million, in line with recommendations made by Dorset Council’s Highways Executive Advisory Panel last year.
Last year Dorset Council’s Highways Executive Advisory Panel, made up of elected members from across the political divide and chaired by Cllr Cherry Brooks, Lead Member for Highways, worked alongside officers to determine the financial challenges the Council faced in maintaining the road network and how much additional funding would be needed in the coming year and beyond.
Investment in highway infrastructure directly supports corporate priorities, such as public safety and promoting the economy. Highway assets allow for the movement of vehicles for the purpose of business, employment, emergency services, health, education, tourism, and recreational activities.
The additional funding would also cover additional investment in footways/cycleway assets, that encourage people to make healthier travel choices, in the interests of their health and wellbeing.
Cllr Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment at Dorset Council, said:
“We have a legal responsibility to ensure motorists, cyclists and pedestrians can get to where they need to go safely, and this project recognises that additional funding is needed to address the challenges we face in repairing and maintaining our road network, both financially and practically.
It’s vital that our Highways team has sufficient resources to look after Dorset’s roads so our residents can keep moving and our communities remain connected. I want to personally thank all the members of the Highways Executive Advisory Panel and supporting officers for their hard work on this project.”