Kirkless Council to commit £22 million to improve the condition of its roads

Kirkless Council is to sign off a £22 million investment to improve its road network.

The Highways Capital Plan includes road surfacing, street lighting, structures, road safety, flood management and drainage, traffic signals, car parks and public transport provision, as well as encouraging active travel through walking and cycling.

The cash will help to improve the condition of the borough’s road network. Kirkless Council has 1,900km of roads, 2,333km of pavements abd cycleways, 754 bridges and 58,805 streetlights. It also has 20km drains and 75,653 gullies.

The money will also pay for the continued replacement of streetlights. To date the council has already converted around 43,500 streetlights – or 82% – from traditional orange glow to white LED with an energy saving of 60%.

A specific grant award from the Department for Transport to repair potholes or resurface roads to help prevent potholes forming, was added to the already planned investment by the council for pothole repairs, reports Yorkshire Live.

Last year that grant paid for 11 small resurfacing and large patching schemes, as well as 11 full resurfacing schemes. It will continue into 2021/22.

Money will also be allocated towards supporting small-scale improvements to bus services to improve reliability and accessibility as a ‘sustainable alternative’ to car use along with walking and cycling.

The council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Clr Naheed Mather, said the maintenance and improvements to the highways network were “vital for the development of Kirklees”. She said: “Climate change and air quality are a key consideration with all our highways projects. If the funding is approved this huge investment across multiple schemes will, in most cases, provide dual impact and benefit to everyone, and not just those who use our highways.”

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