Unanimous vote over extra money for roads

Potholes in Bourtonville, Buckingham.
Potholes in Bourtonville, Buckingham.

An extra £3 million is to be put towards fixing Bucks’ roads by Bucks County Council (BCC).

But BCC has also called on central government to provide capital funding for a major roads upgrade.

The £3 million, which is being used out of reserves, is in addition to the £25 million already budgeted to be spent on road maintenance over the next two years.

Announcing the funding at last Thursday’s full council meeting, councillors called on the government to provide a ‘substantial’ amount of money to help improve the situation.

New cabinet member for transport, Janet Blake, suggested cancelling the £32 billion HS2 project could generate more money for roads.

She said: ”In direct response to concerns raised by our residents to all county council members during the elections campaign, we want to help further reduce the roads maintenance backlog.

“Roads affect every single person in the county, so we need to enable safe and efficient travel.

“We also call on the government to cancel HS2 to give us more funds for roads.”

Council leader Martin Tett said: ”It’s very important that we are seen as a county council to respond to what residents want.

“This is not just £3 million, it is an extra £3 million in addition to the £25 million already committed in the budget for road surfacing over the next two years. And this is on top of the £11 million we spend each year on basic repairs.

“Even with this extra money, we don’t have enough resources to repair all of our roads so we call on the government to capital fund a major upgrade.”

The motion was unanimously supported, although some opposition councillors questioned how £3 million could be found for the roads but not other services.

Both Buckingham’s newly elected county councillors welcomed the move.

Robin Stuchbury said: “I was happy to support the extra £3 million on the roads.

“We’ve yet to find out how that’s going to break down in the local areas.

“I’ve been told it works out at £67,000 per ward.

“I want to see that this area gets its fair portion.”

Warren Whyte said: “I was supportive that the county council is using reserves for what reserves are for – using them for things that need action.

“While it’s very welcome, it’s still only a drop in the ocean. It certainly will make a difference in the short term but it needs to be spent fairly on where the real need is for urgent repairs.”

Find out more about Transport for Bucks We’re Working On It campaign at www.transportforbucks.net/Transport-and-roads.aspx