Cabinet members in Suffolk have committed an extra £20 million over the next three years into further improving Suffolk’s highway drainage systems and footpaths.
In recognition of the increasing maintenance demand on these areas, councillors approved the use of £10 million to specifically deliver an increasing number of drainage schemes that deal with problems that affect larger numbers of people, and a further £10 million to improve footpath quality and access.
Suffolk Highways will use the drainage investment alongside funding from the Department for Transport to increase the number of highway flooding sites which are resolved, providing a highway network that is more resilient and accessible during heavy rain and severe weather events.
The footpath investment will be focused on urban areas and busy footpaths in rural areas – providing a safer and more accessible network that supports people accessing local bus services, health care services and local shopping precincts.
Councillor Paul West, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for operational highways and flooding, said: “Committing this extra funding is a very welcome boost to our already significant improvement programmes in highways.
“The integrity of our county’s drainage systems and footpaths are incredibly important to our livelihoods; functioning drainage systems and well-paved paths support us all to safely travel for work, social or leisure purposes or to access essential services.
“£20m divided across drainage and footpath services will enable our highways teams to resolve more drainage issues, where there may be significant highway or property flooding; and footpath improvements to provide a safer and more accessible network in urban and busy rural areas.
“I look forward to working closely with the teams to ensure that the additional funding is used appropriately; targeting areas that require essential improvements, on a priority basis. I will continue to keep Suffolk’s residents informed on how any additional funding is going to be used.”