The level of investment in highway maintenance is to be significantly cut back in Bath and North East Somerset this year, figures published this week have shown.
Liberal Democrat-run Bath and North East Somerset Council has confirmed that it will be spending £1.2 million less on road maintenance this year than in the previous year. Last year the authority invested £5 million in road improvements. However, in this financial year it is to spend just £3.82 million.
The reduction in investment is due to the fact that the council has chosen cut the additional investment it puts into road resurfacing over and above the amount it receives in Government grant.
This has meant that the 26 miles of road it plans to resurface this year is down from a total of 76 miles of highway improved between 2010 and 2012.
Cllr Tim Warren, Conservative Shadow Cabinet Member for Transport, said:
“Conservatives invested significant sums in improving our area’s highways over previous years, so it’s very disappointing the Liberal Democrats are choosing the cut back on this.
“Despite the progress made in recent years, there are still many roads in the area which are in a poor state of repair and need to be resurfaced, yet the Lib Dem B&NES is planning to spend £1.2 million less this year than last year. This has a direct consequence, meaning that fewer roads will benefit from investment this year than before.
“Cutting back on road resurfacing is also a false economy, as it will simply mean the Council having to spend more in the years to come on patching up our roads and filling in pot holes. This is a very short-sighted decision from the Lib Dems here in B&NES.”