More ‘local input’ to go into road repair decisions in Northamptonshire as part of £10 million investment

Local councillors will be able to nominate two roads for road repairs in Northamptonshire
Local councillors will be able to nominate two roads for road repairs in Northamptonshire

Councillors in Northamptonshire will be able to select roads in their area to be given pothole repairs as part of a two-year investment of £10 million.

Cabinet members have agreed to introduce a new highway asset funding strategy which will allow a more localised input in the selection of roads and footways to be resurfaced.

In the new road maintenance initiative, councillors could select up to two local priority schemes per year in their division from a select list.

A report discussed by members stated the £10m investment, which is being made on top of the county council’s existing £15 million annual budget for road repairs, could save the council £450,000 by reducing the need for reactive maintenance and fewer potholes on the network.

Research conducted by the Asphalt Industry Alliance in 2010, estimated costs to businesses in Northamptonshire of a road network in poor condition are in the order of £302 million per year.

This combines damage and increased fuel costs (£119 million), businesses being less competitive, (£140 million), and lost working hours (£43 million).

The £10 million investment in road maintenance has been welcomed by Mark Morrell, known as Mr Pothole, who led a campaign to get more money for road repairs in Brackley.

Mr Morrell said: “I think it is good that there will be a local input into the road repairs.

“This shows the council have listened to what has happened in Brackley and rolled it out in the county.

“The benefits of what can happen have been seen in Brackley. I’m sure the council would like more money to repair the roads but it is great to have this extra funding for the next two years.”

Northamptonshire County Councillor Michael Clarke, portfolio holder for highways, said the state of local roads and footways was always top of the list of residents’ concerns.