Lack of Funding puts County’s Roads at Risk
Originally published by Liberal Democrats on Kent County Council
Kent County Council is asking for Government for an additional £4.6 million of 'Incentive Fund' support for highways maintenance. They need another £50 million just to stop the roads getting worse.
Kent's roads have suffered from chronic under-investment over many years. A small budget is spent patching potholes. But new ones appear and others get bigger every day. Other highway assets, such as bridges and drains, also urgently need attention.
KCC admit that the situation is 'grave' and report that £630 million is needed to cover the backlog of highways repairs. KCC plans to spend £27.7 million next year on highways maintenance. They need to spend an estimated £77 million each year just to prevent the situation getting worse. However, like many other local authorities, KCC simply does not have enough money to stop the managed decline of our highways.
Ian Chittenden, Lib Dem spokesperson for Environment & Transport said: "The sums allocated by Government for the upkeep of KCC maintained roads are pitifully small. Without significant new monies, Kent's highways will deteriorate further."
Every year the Conservatives try to grab the headlines with a brand new 'Pothole Fund' but nowhere near enough money is spent in Kent and the underlying problems endure. The reality is that less than £1 billion of the estimated £40 billion revenues the Government gets from road fund licenses and fuel duties is allocated to local authorities in England for highways maintenance.
Ian concluded; "It's time the Conservatives woke up to the pressing needs of Kent's highways. If that doesn't happen soon, they could soon be accused of putting lives at risk."