More cash needed to fix county roads

FUNDING for road repairs in Suffolk is below the level required to maintain them at a good standard, county chiefs have conceded.

FUNDING for road repairs in Suffolk is below the level required to maintain them at a good standard, county chiefs have conceded.

The stark admission comes amid growing concerns about the state of the county's roads network and a lack of cash to bring them up to scratch.

And Guy McGregor the councillor responsible for roads and transport has warned that the numbers of people killed or seriously injured on Suffolk's roads could increase should standards slip.

The overall budget for Suffolk this year (2008/09) comes to �39.2million, however a council report reveals there is a “very high” risk that pressure on budgets will lead to a “deterioration of road surfaces”.


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A council report on the impact of budget savings found that the authority is continuing to meet its duty to inspect and repair roads, but investment in preventative maintenance has reduced.

The report said: “So far, the impact has been relatively modest and a recent national survey shows satisfaction with the condition of roads in Suffolk compares favourably with other authorities.

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“However, once deterioration accelerates, it will be increasingly costly to recover, and resources for preventative maintenance will be further eroded by escalating reactive repair costs.”

Mr McGregor said the council is in a difficult situation because budgets across the authority are tight and government funding is not sufficient to maintain high standards.

He said: “It is a question of maintaining roads for all sorts of reasons.

“It is not just the needs of the motorist - road safety is important.

“If the government underfunds the eastern region then we suffer dramatically.

“We certainly make the case for more funding and do our best to award contracts in the most efficient way possible.

“We carry out work for the people of Suffolk to the best of our ability but we cannot disguise the seriousness of the situation.”

n. Are you concerned at the state of the county's roads? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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