Suffolk County Council’s cabinet is being asked to approve an extra £10 million to repair and resurface local roads in villages and residential areas across Suffolk.
The funding would nearly double Suffolk Highways’ £11 million annual roads maintenance budget but be targeted at smaller residential streets which are typically maintained less frequently than busier A and B roads.
Over recent years, the county council has recognised the importance of improving roads for residents, this new proposal follows the successful £21 million contribution towards the resurfacing of 1,000 miles of road between 2017 and 2021, and more recently the committed £21 million between 2021 – 2025 to increase pavement maintenance, deliver drainage improvement schemes and repair road signs.
It is hoped that with an extra £10 million boost to resurface some local roads, minor rural roads and urban cul-de-sacs this would result in a reduction of new potholes, which in turn will reduce the overall financial burden on the council’s emergency and reactive repair budgets. Between 2020 and 2023, 2 out of 3 pothole repairs were carried out on local roads, minor rural roads and urban cul-de-sacs. During that period, more than half of all defects reported by the public were on these types of road.
The extra investment will make use of more sustainable materials such as warm mix asphalts that have a lower CO2 footprint than traditional hot mix asphalts and which include recycled materials to reduce raw material use; resulting in a more positive impact on Suffolk’s environment.
Councillor Paul West, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for Ipswich, operational highways and flooding, said: “This major investment looks set to improve roads across the county where people live. These smaller roads are often in estates or off the beaten track in our villages and are in need of some love and attention.
“By investing in resurfacing these types of road, rather than repairing them when potholes appear, it aims to reduce ongoing maintenance costs, our carbon footprint and disruption on our roads. It also aims to encourage more people to consider sustainable ways of getting about, such as walking and cycling.
“Our highways teams are currently prioritising sites and identifying the roads which we will target with this investment. If the extra investment is agreed we will look to deliver this larger programme of works over the course of the next year.”