Gedling borough’s broken roads will start to see “substantial improvements” if the county council approves an extra £15 million to act on a county-wide highways repairs review.
But the authority’s transport committee chair also warned road users that change will not “happen overnight” despite plans to drastically reduce temporary pothole fixes and move towards permanent road re-patching schemes.
The council’s transport and environment committee met last week to discuss the authority’s long-planned highways review.
Conducted throughout 2021, it was launched to address what many councillors described as the “biggest issue on the doorstep” in last May’s council elections.
It involved a cross-party panel meeting over several months to discuss methods used by the council to repair roads in recent years and attempt to find new solutions.
Two external assessments of the authority’s current methods were conducted – one by consultants WSP and a second by the Local Government Association,
The assessments found the council should shift away from temporary repairs using a method known as Viafix and focus on permanent road replacement schemes whenever possible.
Viafix – a form of cold asphalt repair which fills in specific holes – would still be needed “protect the safety of road users” in the event of an emergency.
But the authority was told it should be using other forms of repair which replace whole stretches of road where possible.
Other recommendations included improving communications with residents on when their roads will be repaired, giving them “clarity”, and moving from a one-year to a three-year investment plan on where repairs will take place.
These recommendations will now be acted on said Cllr Neil Clarke (Con), the transport and environment committee chairman.
He confirmed an additional £15 million will be provided to the department over the next four years.
This will partly be funded by the authority increasing its standard council tax by one per cent from April.
Cllr Clarke says £12 million of this will be used to implement the review, with ‘patching gangs’ currently used to resurface roads due to double as the authority shifts to a “right repair, right first-time” approach.
Speaking in the meeting on Wednesday, Cllr Clarke said: “We are really emphasising and investing in our roads … to address the concerns in the review.
“At the moment there are four patching gangs and that £12 million will allow the doubling of those teams to present a major improvement in the way we address road repairs.
“In time there will be substantial improvements to see in our road repairs, it’s not all going to happen overnight but it will certainly have significant improvements with that additional investment.
“It won’t mean completely the end of pothole repairs because there’s always an emergency somewhere that needs to be repaired.
“But it will see a major reduction in those pothole repairs and a substantial increase in long-term road patching.”
The additional funding to invest in the review will go before full council as part of the wider budget on February 24.
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