Council leader calls for government help on road repairs

Bucks Free Press: A road resurfacing crew at work in Bucks A road resurfacing crew at work in Bucks

SIXTY million pounds is to be spent on improving the county's roads over the next four years - but a Bucks council chief has called for the government to step in and help pay for it.

Buckinghamshire County Council today agreed in principle to spend £15million per annum on upgrading roads until 2018, with the proposals set to be rubber stamped later this month.

But council leader Martin Tett said that budget isn't enough and said the government should release more money to local authorities to make highway repairs.

He said at today's meeting of the council's cabinet: "We need the national government to step in and release substantial amounts of funds. This is beyond the resources of individual county councils, in my opinion."

A total of £50million has been spent in the last three years but Cllr Tett said it had been "virtually impossible" to properly maintain the surface of the county's roads because of poor weather over the last three winters.

He said 49 per cent of county residents questioned said they would be happy with a two per cent increase in council tax if the extra amount was used solely for repairing and improving the roads.

Such an increase would require a referendum of residents and Cllr Tett said he would have explored that possibility if the result of the survey had been even more emphatically in favour of the increase.

He said: "I'm aware of all the frustrations of the residents. I drive around the rest of the country a lot and this is a national problem. It's not something unique to Bucks and requires national funding to put right. We don't have the resources as a county council to solve in totality the problems on our roads."

Janet Blake, the council's cabinet member for transport, added: "To put a sticking plaster on something haemorrhaging ain't going to cut it. When we do things we need to do things properly first time.

"If the public see a pothole being repaired and a few months later it fails because of the winter weather, or whatever, and they have to come out again, it's seen quite rightly as a waste of resources."

Cllr Tett suggested money set to be spent on the HS2 rail link - which has been opposed by Bucks County Council from the outset - should instead be spent on improving roads.

Referring to where government money could come from to pay for road repairs, he joked: "The odd 50billion they might have spare would be the obvious choice."

Comments (6)

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5:36pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Monty Cristo says...

"A total of £50million has been spent in the last three years".
Oh, really? What do we have to show for it? Appalling roads still .
He is quite right that it is a complete waste of money just patching up because the patches just fail within a week or two. So how on earth can the government sanction wasting money in this way in a supposed time of austerity? If they can find the cash for HS2, they can find the cash to fix our roads, which are like those in the third world.
.
"A total of £50million has been spent in the last three years". Oh, really? What do we have to show for it? Appalling roads still . He is quite right that it is a complete waste of money just patching up because the patches just fail within a week or two. So how on earth can the government sanction wasting money in this way in a supposed time of austerity? If they can find the cash for HS2, they can find the cash to fix our roads, which are like those in the third world. . Monty Cristo

8:15pm Mon 3 Feb 14

miccles says...

Cllr Tett suggested money set to be spent on the HS2 rail link - which has been opposed by Bucks County Council from the outset - should instead be spent on improving roads.

Isn't this a bit of a hypocritical comment?????
How much has this leader spent on HS2, which could have been spent on the roads???

I personally think its about time this leader either resigned or was replaced.
Cllr Tett suggested money set to be spent on the HS2 rail link - which has been opposed by Bucks County Council from the outset - should instead be spent on improving roads. Isn't this a bit of a hypocritical comment????? How much has this leader spent on HS2, which could have been spent on the roads??? I personally think its about time this leader either resigned or was replaced. miccles

8:25pm Mon 3 Feb 14

tigeran says...

The roads are a joke! You pay an extortionate amount to put your car on the roads, even more to put fuel in then you find yourself with a large garage bill to repair your car once it has been damaged hitting one of the pot holes, try to claim from the council due to their neglect, get absolutely nowhere, try to recoup money by refusing to pay your road tax the next year only to have your car crushed as a result!! Daylight robbery!!!
The roads are a joke! You pay an extortionate amount to put your car on the roads, even more to put fuel in then you find yourself with a large garage bill to repair your car once it has been damaged hitting one of the pot holes, try to claim from the council due to their neglect, get absolutely nowhere, try to recoup money by refusing to pay your road tax the next year only to have your car crushed as a result!! Daylight robbery!!! tigeran

10:25pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Minority Report says...

The state of the counties roads are the failure of BCC. Let's face the trust what do they care... I doesn't matter that our roads are a disaster waiting to happen or that you can no longer make any journey without subjecting your car the the most brutal conditions possible without going on a test track.

The complacency of the council truely astounds and there is no light at the end of the tunnel with a Tory government and Tory council just passing the buck like a game of musical chairs until everyone gives up complaining and just accepts 'that that is the way it is'! But never mind when your car is broken on the side of the road you can always use HS2, not !
The state of the counties roads are the failure of BCC. Let's face the trust what do they care... I doesn't matter that our roads are a disaster waiting to happen or that you can no longer make any journey without subjecting your car the the most brutal conditions possible without going on a test track. The complacency of the council truely astounds and there is no light at the end of the tunnel with a Tory government and Tory council just passing the buck like a game of musical chairs until everyone gives up complaining and just accepts 'that that is the way it is'! But never mind when your car is broken on the side of the road you can always use HS2, not ! Minority Report

10:39am Tue 4 Feb 14

thethe says...

Aren't the majority of potholes caused by utilities companies digging up roads then not putting the road back to an adequate standard? If this work is carried out and seams are not sufficiently sealed, water gets in and breaks down the road surface. In these case why should the council be responsible and why should council tax payers have to pay for the repairs? The council should pursue the culprits and get them to put it right.
Aren't the majority of potholes caused by utilities companies digging up roads then not putting the road back to an adequate standard? If this work is carried out and seams are not sufficiently sealed, water gets in and breaks down the road surface. In these case why should the council be responsible and why should council tax payers have to pay for the repairs? The council should pursue the culprits and get them to put it right. thethe

11:42am Tue 4 Feb 14

HW1 says...

The comments of Janet Blake in the article, and I quote: "To put a sticking plaster on something haemorrhaging ain't going to cut it. When we do things we need to do things properly first time" are quite correct and well said. When will the Council learn that to do repairs properly first time will save money in the long run. Get your house in order first Martin Tett before you cry to the Government for more money.
The comments of Janet Blake in the article, and I quote: "To put a sticking plaster on something haemorrhaging ain't going to cut it. When we do things we need to do things properly first time" are quite correct and well said. When will the Council learn that to do repairs properly first time will save money in the long run. Get your house in order first Martin Tett before you cry to the Government for more money. HW1

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