Extra £1m to fix roads is not enough

Examples of potholes in Skipton Road, Barnoldswick. (S)
Examples of potholes in Skipton Road, Barnoldswick. (S)

An extra £1m a year could be found to repair the crumbling road network in North Kirklees it was revealed last week.

In January 2014 the Department for Transport announced a review of how the six year national funding package of £5.853 billion for highway maintenance outside London would be spent.

And councillors last week discussed the possibility for Kirklees to ask for a share of extra money to repair its crumbling road network.

Should Kirklees be successful, the extra money would go up incrementally year-by-year, starting from £379,000 in 2016/17 up to £1.025m in 2018/19.

A report sent to councillors by highways officers said: “We want to maximise our incentive element allocation through this process and regain the top sliced funds which, in Kirklees, is worth a maximum £1.025m a year from 2018/19.”

The report comes as the government changed the way it gives out funding to local authorities for its road spending. Money given to councils will now be proportionate to the length of roads it has to look after.

For example, Kirklees currently has more than 230 kilometers of A-roads, making up 0.78 per cent of Britain’s total length of A roads. Out of the £247m base funding that will be used for the UK’s A-roads in 2015-2016, a relative 0.78 percent share for Kirklees will be more than £1.9m for A-roads.

It was proposed district committees would also be able to list “priority” roads that are in need of extra repairs.

The report also highlighted that this would be nowhere near enough with a backlog of repairs worth tens of millions would take years to clear.

Kirklees Council highways will present a spending plan to cabinet later this summer.