Herts roads 'poor relation' to London for investment - but better than other eastern counties
PUBLISHED: 15:44 15 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:59 15 January 2020
There are huge regional investment disparities between roads in London and the East of England region, including in Hertfordshire.
Research by the County Council Network (CCN) shows that motorists in more rural areas are 'poor relations' to those in the major cities, who have more investment from the government.
Hertfordshire County Council's leader David Williams says the picture locally is not as bad as the rest of the region.
He explains that the per mile revenue and capital spend figure for Hertfordshire is £43,792, while in London it stands at £62,350 and for the east region at £27,222.
Cllr Williams told this paper this is "in spite of having a road network over 3,000 miles long", and in Herts they have recognised that the road is a "priority" for residents.
He added that HCC "committed £37m over five years to March 2023 to improve the condition of our unclassified roads - the roads that most of us live on."
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However he is calling on the government - with other leaders of county authorities - for a fair share of the new £2bn pothole fund for rural counties and is asking for a long-term commitment to "level up" investment.
Cllr Williams, who is also CCN's chairman, said: "The scourge of potholes and gridlocked roads are among the biggest local issues council leaders find in their mailboxes every week, affecting motorists, cyclists and local businesses alike.
"We know how important it is to keep our roads in a good condition, and we do our utmost to fill defects, upgrade routes and invest in new infrastructure despite the challenging financial circumstances faced by councils.
"But today's analysis shows that county motorists are clearly the poor relation to drivers in London and other cities areas when it comes to how much gets spent on fixing potholes and improving the local road network, with drivers across the country facing a pothole lottery, even within regions.
"Due to more generous day-to-day funding and infrastructure investment, cities and urban areas are in a position to spend disproportionate amounts in keeping their roads maintained or upgraded compared to councils in counties. This is despite far more of our road network in the shires requiring repairs and improvements.
He added: "County local authorities showed themselves able to spend the pothole money made available in the 2018 Budget quickly with significant results - repairing well over 2,000 roads. Should we receive a similar proportion of funds from this tranche of money, we will endeavour to do even more for our motorists."
Details of HCC's 'Invest to improve initiative' can be found on the HCC website at hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/highways-roads-and-pavements/roadworks-and-road-closures/investing-in-your-local-roads.aspx