Additional investment to help improve the condition of East Sussex Roads and protect them for years ahead has been agreed by its cabinet.
The decision follows months of detailed modelling of how extra investment could be most effective as more extreme weather is causing roads across England to deteriorate faster.
Cabinet members unanimously approved the additional spending of £5.6 million from reserves to pay for extra patching and drainage work, and to increase the capital programme by £5.1 million, funded through borrowing.
They also agreed a recommendation to Full Council that a further £5 million be added to the council’s capital programme to help with early improvements to make the road network more resilient. A decision on this funding is due to be made at July’s meeting. If agreed, it would bring the total extra investment to £15.7 million.
Presenting the report to Cabinet on June 27, Cllr Claire Dowling, lead member for transport and environment, said: “Over recent winters, and in particular last winter, the weather has taken its toll on roads in East Sussex and across the country. I very much welcome this investment and believe residents will as well.”
The increase in investment would help move 40 more miles of roads into good condition and significantly reduce the proportion of roads in East Sussex needing repair.
Extra investment has already been made in the county’s highways after this was set as an area of priority. In 2022-23 an additional £8.9m was allocated, increasing the capital programme by £3.1m for 10 years and £5.8m which boosted the council’s patching programme. This led to an additional 730 sections of the road network being treated, funded 280 additional works to pavements, and repaired and maintained road markings, road signs and signposts across the county.
Decisions on future investment will be made during the council’s normal budget setting process, starting in the autumn. Meanwhile, East Sussex County Council continues to lobby central Government for better and longer-term funding for road maintenance.