Posted: 18.02.21 at 18:28 by Tom Avery
The government has slashed Cheshire East’s funding for potholes and road maintenance by nearly £4 million this year.
Cheshire East Council has been allocated a total of £13 million from the government’s highways maintenance funding for the next financial year, which includes £5.7 million for potholes.
This represents a 23 per cent reduction, and leading councillors fear this could pressure other areas of the council budget.
Cllr Laura Crane, cabinet member for highways and waste said: “We work hard to maintain the roads in Cheshire East, but we can only do what is affordable based on available funding.
“This reduction in government money puts further pressure on the council’s budget and will limit next year’s maintenance programme, their announcement comes just six weeks ahead of the new financial year, so plans have already begun for works that we now find are unaffordable.”
The council said government freeze on the level of funding at £12 million in the 2016/17 to 2019/20 financial years had compounded the situation.
Cllr Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council said: “An assessment by our strategic highways team has shown that we need to be investing £27 million each year, just to keep the roads in their current state.
“So, the outcome of the Department for Transport’s announcement, at £13 million, will inevitably be the further decline of our highways network.”
Cllr Crane added: “We know how important the condition of our road network is to our residents and to road users, whether they be drivers, cyclists or bus passengers. Please let me reassure you that we will continue to do what we can with the resources we have available.”
Potholes and other road defects can be reported road defects by visiting the Cheshire East highways website or calling 0300 123 5020.