Twenty-eight successful applications for cash for local highways maintenance schemes have been approved, which will provide money for 31 different one-off projects. The Challenge Fund competition is designed to provide funding for construction schemes which will help both local residents and businesses. It is part of the Government’s £6 billion local roads maintenance programme announced in December last year.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Good quality local roads are essential for people to get on with their daily business and this announcement will provide extra capacity where it is needed most.
“This Government has put record funding in place for local roads as part of our long-term economic plan to improve journeys, create jobs and drive economic growth.”
The money is being awarded following a bidding process. The successful schemes include carriageway and drainage improvements, safety repairs and bridge renewals. Funding has also been given for projects to improve street lighting.
The Local Government Association (LGA) has said that whichever party or parties form the new Government after next month’s General Election need to invest around £1 billion annually into maintaining Britain’s road. It suggests this could be done by using 2p from the duty charged per litre of fuel to create a maintenance fund.
The LGA said that the strategic road network – the motorways and A roads which have received the lion’s share of investment for improvement in the last five years – is not the only part of the network that requires attention.