Roads in North Somerset will be resurfaced on average only once every 70 years – as a result of Government funding being cut.
The Government hasut the amount of funding allocated to North Somerset Council to maintain the 1,100 kilometres of roads across the district by £1.5 million.
The funding package has also been frozen for the next three years – at a time when inflation is at its highest level in decades. Councillors have now launched a petition calling on the Government to allocate further investment in the district’s roads, reports Somerset Live.
North Somerset Council executive member for economy and placemaking, Councillor Mark Canniford, said: “To get the roads up to the standard they need to be would cost us £45 million if we did the work today. But the Government does not give us enough money to do the work we need to do.
“At current levels of investment, most roads will only be resurfaced once every 70 years. The job of repairing our roads is being made so much harder by these short-sighted funding cuts.
“After passing on a frankly inconceivable cut of £1.5 million, the Government has also frozen funding at this lower level just as costs are skyrocketing.” Before the cuts, in 2021, North Somerset Council received £7.4 million from the government for road maintenance.
Council leaders say the 20 per cent reduction in funding will mean the backlog of road repairs will continue to worsen and some schemes may not be carried out. Mr Canniford added: “This reduction in funding will simply put further pressure on already stretched council budgets and will see repair backlogs continue to rise.
“Councils rely on this funding to carry out vitally important road repairs and maintain the condition of roads, which affect all users, including pedestrians and cyclists. We need to have real, long-term funding that allows councils to undertake planned maintenance and not just emergency repairs.