Minister visits South Cheshire amid councillors’ concerns over road repairs

Councillors in Willaston and Wistaston in Cheshire met with Roads Minister Richard Holden to air concerns about the state of local roads caused by utility works.

Mr Holden, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Roads & Local Transport) Department of Transport. met with Cllr Allen Gage (Willaston), Margaret Simon (Wistaston) and Janet Clowes (Wybunbury)

Cllr Gage highlighted the issues on Rope Bank Avenue area of the county.

He said the road, despite being close to Berkeley Academy and an important bus route, has failed over the past four years to attract cost-saving, level II patching repairs.

And Dane Bank Avenue was cited by Cllr Simon for its interim pot-hole repairs and utilities activity that she said have compromised the busy route to primary, secondary and FE College.

Cllr Janet Clowes, Conservative Group Leader, said the Group had brought forward a budget amendment to the February Budget which was supported by a large cross-party majority.

She said: “This will see Cheshire East introduce a ‘Lane Rental Scheme’ requiring agencies that dig up our roads to pay a charge for the use of the highway that can be used to provide improved highways repairs and servicing.

“I’ve been assured that a scheme will be ready for submission to the Minister within the next 12 months.”

Mr Holden MP added: “I know how important the maintenance of roads is, not only here in Crewe but also nationwide.

“Recently, the Government increased the annual potholes budget by 40%, meaning an additional £2.3 million for Cheshire East’s road maintenance.

“However, I must agree with local residents and Conservative councillors who are concerned that the Labour-run council isn’t using this funding as effectively as it could, with too many potholes currently blighting local roads.

“While extra money is a big step in the right direction, long term solutions are also necessary.

“That is why I’m glad, that even from opposition, the Conservative group has proposed a lane rental scheme which will make improvements more effective, efficient and timely whilst holding local utility companies accountable for the works they do on local pavements and roads.”

Cheshire East Council was awarded an additional grant of £2.319,600 in the March 2023 Budget as its allocation of the additional £200m announced for Highways Maintenance.


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