A local councillor in Surrey is calling on the government to change how central government calculates funding for the maintenance of local highways.
The current method for calculating how much funding local road networks receive for highway maintenance relies almost solely upon road length.
Rebecca Paul, Surrey County Council councillor, argues the current formula means busy highway networks – such as the ones in Surrey – are underfunded, reports the local Greatest Hits Radio.
She said: “One of the most common issues raised me by residents is the state of our roads and how unfavourably they compare to other areas of England. Now, one way to address part of the funding issue would be to remedy and unfairness in the current road funding formula that disadvantages high traffic counties like Surrey.”
“The current formula takes no consideration of traffic volume. This flaw in the formula means that Surrey, which is actually more than three times busier than some other English counties doesn’t receive any extra funding to reflect the additional wear and tear suffered.”Rebecca PaulRebecca Paul, the Surrey County councillor pushing for change in roads maintenance funding
Department for Transport (DfT) figures reveal that Surrey county’s roads have recorded, in recent years, as much as twice the amount of vehicles compared with the British average.
Speaking to Greatest Hits Radio, Rebecca Paul says that in the current funding method Surrey is being “penalised” for being a high traffic county.
“You could have two identical road networks, one in a very quiet area of the country, not near a big city or airports, for example. And then one like ours in Surrey, which is next door to London. Both those networks are getting exactly the same money, yet it’s very clear that one network is suffering a lot more wear and tear than the other simply down to traffic volumes.”
“We’re basically being penalised because we are a high traffic county and relatively aren’t getting as much funding as other counties when you take that traffic volume into account.”
“This unfairness comes about as a result of the fact that traffic volume isn’t recognised as being a factor in determining how much maintenance funding is needed for a road network. And clearly, I think it’s common sense – a more highly used road network will require more maintenance. We simply need to allocate more funding to those networks that need it more.”
The councillor admitted she receives a number of complains from Surrey residents about the state of local roads. Highways Surrey – the authority responsible for road maintenance in the area – is known for turning down repairs such as the below, which Rebecca Paul explains is an example of the consequences of poor funding.