An extra £10m of pothole repairs across Oxfordshire and ‘in principle’ plans for £120m of investment in the county’s roads were approved today (Tuesday, July 17).
A list of resurfacing projects have been revealed, including many in Banburyshire, after Oxfordshire County Council cabinet members gave their backing to double the amount of cash spent on fixing the county’s roads this year.
In Banbury, Bretch Hill, Dover Road, Edinburgh Way and Nursery Drive is scheduled for work, as well as the A4260 from Deddington Hill to Berry Hill in Adderbury, Burford Road in Chipping Norton and from the kart club to the gliding club in Shenington.
Council leader Ian Hudspeth said: “The county’s extensive network of rural minor roads suffered badly during the freeze-thaw cycle of last winter.
“We know that road users are very concerned about the state of the roads in Oxfordshire and we have been looking at ways to tackle the problem, which everyone knows is getting worse.
“By massively increasing the amount of money we are spending on repairing the roads now we are signalling very clearly our intention to make big improvements not just this year but well into the future.”
The intention is to do all the work on the list by March 31, 2019, however should it not be possible to do specific items on the list in that time, other work from a reserve list would be brought forward.
The £10m increase in the highway maintenance budget for the current financial year is made possible by bringing forward money that was due to be spent on capital investment in later years.
Cabinet also discussed investment totalling a further £120m for infrastructure, including roads and schools, over the next ten years has also taken a step forward.
Cabinet members also gave an ‘in principle’ agreement to borrowing for investment, and to approve the development of a full business case.
Approval of the business case would pave the way for a £120m investment programme – the biggest council-funded investment ever - to improve highways and other vital infrastructure such as schools for Oxfordshire over the coming years.
The business case will be considered in the autumn, so that if accepted the investment proposal could be included in next year’s budget and capital programme, which will be agreed by full council in February, 2019.
Cllr Hudspeth explained: “We think there could be an opportunity to utilise some of the council tax income generated from population growth to give a much-needed cash injection for our highways so they are able to meet the demands of the future.”