Bridgend Council’s plans for better roads | News

Thursday, 13 February 2020

– Transport

by Philip IrwinReporter

A better than expected settlement from the Welsh Government (WG) has led to Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC) to allocate £2 million to improving roads.

The total extra cash provided by WG has not been revealed at this stage, but The GEM understands that the council is still considering other areas where cash could be spent.

A BCBC spokesperson said: “An additional £2m is being proposed for the council’s budget to help address a major backlog of highways and maintenance issues in the county. 

“The funding will be invested in areas such as road resurfacing, bridge-strengthening and flood prevention, including improvements to culverts and gulley-cleaning.

“It will also be used to clean up sites in preparation for housing and commercial development.”

BCBC’s deputy leader, Cllr Hywel Williams, said the plans involved increasing the budget for infrastructure by £2m every year.

He said: “We have a £39 million backlog of highways and maintenance issues in the county – if we don’t undertake major resurfacing work now then the cost and the backlog will grow and it will actually cost the taxpayer twice as much in the long run.

“A recent investment into our infrastructure means there’s been fewer insurance claims against the local authority and by investing more, we can reduce the potential liability for claims in the future.

“We also recognise that in terms of the footways it’s important to have good quality ones for people with mobility issues – there will be funding for more dropped kerbs, especially for people with wheelchairs and walking aids to get about and access different services.”

Cllr Williams said the local authority was now able provide the investment due to having a boost in its funding from Welsh Government.

He said: “Previously it’s been difficult because ongoing austerity and budget cuts have put considerable pressure on a number of services.

“During our public consultation on this year’s budget, people said they wanted to see investment in schools, social services for children and older people, and roads – they were the big three.

“We have a huge network of roads and work will take us time but we are hoping to have a long-term programme.

“We want it to make a difference – we don’t want to be leaving a much bigger liability for the next generation.”

The total budget for the public realm is £19.6m – this includes £8.5m for waste collection and disposal.

Funding for the infrastructure investment forms part of the budget proposals which will go before full council later this month.

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