Government promises nearly £10million to be invested in Lincolnshire’s roads in coming years
Lincolnshire’s roads are to get nearly £10 million more funding over the next few years as the Government re-directs money from the cancelled HS2 line.
The Department of Transport has today (Friday) promised an additional £4,924,000 to be pumped into the county’s roads during the current financial year, with a similar amount coming in 2024/25.
Last month, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a £36 billion plan to transform British transport as a result of the cancellation of the HS2 line between Birmingham and Manchester – with a promise of an ‘unprecedented uplift’ coming to Lincolnshire.
This extra cash will come in handy as Lincolnshire County Council is receiving £12 million less from the government to spend on maintaining the area’s roads and has been forced to transfer £19 million from its reserves to help fund the shortfall. The county has a network of 5,500 miles of roads.
Executive member for Highways Coun Richard Davies has welcomed the announcement.
He said: "This funding across this year and next is very welcome news.
"We will put this allocation into the 2023/24 maintenance schemes and do the same for the 2024/25 money. It will clearly be a much-needed benefit in our continuing battle to keep the 5,500 mile-long Lincolnshire road network useable.
"The £5million from Government for this year and next will be a positive to our maintenance plans across the county. With that in mind, it's worth noting that as the local highways authority we are still waiting for a reinstatement of the 25% (£12.3m) cut to our annual road budget,
"That deficit, started in 2022, has already had a far-reaching effect on what we've been able to do for the county and it is currently planned to still be in effect for years to come. These cash announcements are a step in the right direction but we still need more to be done."
Transport Secretary Mark Harper has set out the allocations of an £8.3 billion national long-term plan, enough to resurface over 5,000 miles of road across the country over the next 11 years.
“Most people travel by road and potholes can cause misery for motorists, from expensive vehicle repairs to bumpy, slow, and dangerous journeys,” he said.
“Our £959 million boost to repair roads across the East Midlands shows that we’re on the side of drivers.
“Today’s biggest ever funding uplift for local road improvements is a victory for all road users, who will enjoy smoother, faster and safer trips - as we use redirected HS2 funding to make the right long-term decisions for a brighter future.”
Local highway authorities in the East Midlands, including in Leicestershire, Derby, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, will each receive a share of the £959 million which they can use to identify what local roads are in most need of repair and deliver immediate improvements for communities and residents.
Across the East Midlands, local highway authorities will receive £16.4 million this financial year, followed by a further £16.4 million for 2024/2025, with the rest of the funding allocated through to 2034.
The funding also comes on top of the local transport, road and rail budgets allocated at the last Spending Review and in addition to what local authorities were already expecting for the next decade.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “For too long politicians have shied away from taking the right long-term decisions to make life easier for hardworking families - tackling the scourge of potholes being a prime example.
“Well-maintained road surfaces could save drivers up to £440 each in expensive vehicle repairs, helping motorists keep more of the cash in their pocket.
“This unprecedented £8.3 billion investment will pave the road for better and safer journeys for millions of people across the country and put an end to the blight of nuisance potholes.”