Operation road rescue

An extra £5 million of funding has been pledged this coming year to repair weather-worn county roads.

This adds to the £105 million already committed during the next four years.

At a Buckinghamshire Council budget-setting meeting last week, councillors voted in favour of an amendment put forward by Councillors Gareth Williams and Diana Blamires to make an extra £5 million available from council reserves to address a rise in defects that have been made worse by one of the wettest winters in recent years.

The money will be used to fund much-needed repairs across the county caused by long periods of excessive wet weather this winter, and councillors agreed to ‘deploy the funding as quickly as possible’.

Steven Broadbent, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Transport, said: ‘This money comes on top of already significant investment in our road network and recognises what a priority this is for our residents.

‘The money will benefit all areas and will target locations of greatest need to make the highest impact throughout the county.

‘Winter weather always has an impact on our highways network but this year we have seen a higher than normal amount of rain and standing surface water, which has caused even more problems with many of our road surfaces. As a result, we have seen surge in potholes and other road defects being reported.’

In total the council has committed £110 million to highway repairs and improvements in the next four years.

The overall investment will include a range of works and schemes, from the so-called ‘plane and patch’ programme, where whole sections of roads are resurfaced, to one-off large scale projects such as structural repairs and cleaning at Marlow Bridge and Stoke Road Bridge, replacing the central section of the Berry Hill footbridge in Taplow and carrying on inspecting and cleansing 85,000 gullies.

At the moment up to 30 repair teams are out daily, carrying out emergency repairs and temporary fixes to the most problem areas.

Mr Broadbent added: ‘The temporary fixes don’t necessarily look pretty and are not meant to be lasting but the important thing is they are doing a simple job of making the road safe for motorists in the short term.

‘We do undertake permanent repairs when the road conditions allow and are also trialling innovative technology that removes excess water from potholes to allow a better repair.’

This is the second year in a row that councillors have committed an additional £5 million of funding for county roads.

Resurfacing Dunton Road at Littlecote.