‘There may be some tough decisions’
The leader of Kirklees Council has warned some roads may have to close to traffic in the next few years.
Coun David Sheard said a 10-year backlog of road repairs, believed to total about £75m, could leave the council with no choice but to close some of its more remote roads to traffic.
He said: “There is such a big backlog in road repairs in Kirklees, even if money was no object it would still take years to fix. There may be some tough decisions to make if things continue like this.”
Coun Sheard (Lab, Heckmondwike) said last month that 57 per cent was cut from the council’s capital highways budget – in 2008/09 £31.8m was spent but this year it has reduced to £13.8m.
He said: “Kirklees by its geographical nature has a lot more roads than most other local authorities.
“We have 1,891km of roads and unfortunately a large proportion of them suffer from severe weather due to height above sea level.”
Coun Sheard suggested the roads could become footpaths if there was no chance of keeping them safe for vehicles to use. He also said the council would try to lobby for more money from central government to keep the roads going.
He said: “While A and B roads are essential, there are other roads that have no shops or houses near them and don’t get used much. We will try and get as much extra money from the government as we can.”