Concerns about the condition of the county’s roads is something I hear time and time again as an issue local residents feel strongly about.
In fact it’s been highlighted loud and clear in recent weeks through this newspaper’s campaign to improve the local area.
People want to see more being done - and we agree.
That is why we are announcing £20m in additional investment to help improve our road network and introduce more schemes to help make them safer.
This investment – an extra £5m on average per year for the next four years – will take our total capital spending on roads to £142m between 2018/19 and 2021/22 – the highest level of capital spending for more than a decade. The money will be concentrated on the roads we know are going to deteriorate in the next few years, making the right repair at the right time. It makes good sense as, in the long run, it will avoid millions in taxpayers’ money being spent on repair costs if we commit to this level of investment now.
There has been lots of recent investment in our A and B roads to make sure these are in good condition. In fact we have a major £5.5m upgrade to the Mansfield and Ashfield Regeneration Route (MARR) happening now.
So now is a good time to spread this work wider. Our programme will include initiatives like surface dressing on residential roads – some of which won’t have been had meaningful attention in years. But we know these are the roads people use every day, getting to and from home.
Making our roads safer remains of paramount importance and the additional funding will help us deliver a wide range of schemes. There is a long wish list which communities have asked for in the past, such as pedestrian crossings and interactive speed signs which may now be possible.
Funds will also be used to reduce traffic congestion, providing economic benefit.
This, in turn, increases the money available to reinvest in public services.
With 2,600 miles of roads in our network, we know this money won’t fix everything. But this is a good start and sets us in the right direction when it comes to getting a quality, safer road network for Nottinghamshire in the longer-term.