Council to invest an extra £10m into road resurfacing to improve Wiltshire's highways
At its meeting today (Tuesday 12 September), Wiltshire Council's Cabinet agreed to invest a further £10m over the next two years into maintaining and resurfacing the county's roads.
The £10m of extra funding, which is on top of the £14m the council will spend this financial year on highways maintenance, is being funded through the council's capital funding programme. The additional money will be spent on preventative maintenance and a road resurfacing programme including small, local repairs to the highways; verge repairs on rural roads and materials support to volunteers working on public rights of way. Work on potholes will continue in parallel, with £2m existing funds and the government's recent £3.6m additional grant.
The preventative investment will reduce the number of potholes forming on the road network, mitigate the risk of further deterioration; improve road safety across the county for all road users; improve customer satisfaction and reduce the number of highway defect reports to the council, which will save officer time by reducing the number of ad-hoc inspections required and expensive reactive works.
Cllr Caroline Thomas, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: "£10m is a huge investment into improving the resilience and safety of Wiltshire's roads, and one made possible because of our strong financial position and prudent financial management.
"The money will help to prevent potholes and defects forming over the winter months and make our roads safer for all users - and is on top of the £1.3m extra we have invested in renewing road signage, repainting road markings and repairing drainage, plus more than £500,000 we have invested in litter collection for the next two years.
"We manage around 2,700 miles of road here in Wiltshire, and usually we can resurface around 40 to 80 miles each year. This new funding will enable us to resurface at least 130 miles of road each year, plus address deterioration in rural road verges, making it easier for people to get to where they want to go and helping to boost the local economy.
"We know how important Wiltshire roads are to our residents, businesses and visitors, and that's why before we start this programme, we are going to give our area boards the opportunity to comment on areas identified for improvement and highlight roads they see as a high priority. We will also ensure that roads in all of our 18 community areas receive attention.
"In our Business Plan, we have committed to having vibrant, well-connected communities with an efficient and effective transport network, and this considerable £10m investment will help us to achieve that."
The programme of work will begin with identifying the roads due to be resurfaced and giving area boards the opportunity to comment, before the work programme begins in earnest from April 2024 until the end of 2025.