The councillor responsible for highways at Shropshire Council has written an open letter to residents addressing the poor state of the county’s roads.
In the letter, Councillor Steve Charmley said the authority plans to invest at least an extra £40 million into the roads maintenance budget over the next four years. He added that he was ‘determined’ to make the roads safe for all users, reports the Shropshire Star.
The letter said: “Many of our roads are in poor condition and in need of improvement. You know that, I know that, and so does the council’s highways team and our contractors. We all use the county’s roads and we’ve all seen the large number of potholes and other defects.”
It adds: “We’re using new technology and new ways of working to help us tackle the problem. We’ve also made changes to the management of our highways service, as have our contractors Kier. And everyday we have crews out across the county carrying out preventative work to prolong the life of our roads – through surface dressing and resurfacing – along with repairs to roads that are already in a poor state.
“Our aim is to prevent problems occurring in the first place, and to make repairs that will last. I recognise that, in recent times, some of the repair work hasn’t been to a high enough standard. This too is changing.”
Councillor Charmley said Shropshire was “actually doing better than many other areas”.
“I’m determined to improve Shropshire’s roads, but it’s important to note that this isn’t just a Shropshire problem,” he said.
“Roads right across the country are in poor condition too. I’ve seen many of them, and we’ve also been told this by many other councils. Latest Government figures show that 21% of roads in England are considered to be poor.”
“In recent winters, and especially last winter, severe flooding and snow/ice have had a major impact on the road network across the country.”
Councillor Charmley said Government funding being cut by more than 50% on average since 2008 had also contributed towards the deterioration of the roads in Shropshire.
“We’re planning to put millions of pounds more into highways maintenance and will continue to lobby the government for more, and fairer, funding for Shropshire,” he said.