Bracknell Forest Council Boosts Road Network with £5M Investment Plan
Bracknell Forest Council is set to channel an additional £5 million into the enhancement of the borough’s roads over the coming four years, addressing concerns raised by the community regarding the current condition of the highways.
This significant financial commitment reflects the council’s recognition of the roads’ deterioration, primarily attributed to recent extreme weather conditions.
The planned investment is part of a wider capital budget focused on infrastructure improvements, scheduled for council review on 21 February. Kathryn Neil, the councillor overseeing budget allocations, expressed the urgency of the initiative, citing the adverse weather’s impact on road quality as falling short of both the council’s and residents’ expectations. “In response to the challenges posed by the climate in recent years, we’re earmarking an extra £5 million for highways enhancement projects,” she stated, emphasizing the strategic focus on upgrading the borough’s roadways.
This budgetary allocation stands distinct from the council’s operational expenditure, pointing to a strategic investment in the borough’s long-term infrastructure resilience. Guy Gillbe, the executive member for planning and transport, highlighted the financial pressures of inflation on repair costs, compounded by insufficient funding adjustments from the central government. “The escalating costs of maintenance are a testament to the extreme weather conditions we’ve faced, from severe cold to intense heat, stressing our road network,” Gillbe remarked.
This move comes in the wake of disclosures that over ten percent of Bracknell’s roads are in urgent need of resurfacing, spotlighting the critical need for substantial infrastructure investments. The Department for Transport has also acknowledged the nationwide challenge of road maintenance, committing an unprecedented £8.3 billion from redirected HS2 funds to local road improvements, aiming to resurface more than 5,000 miles of roads across the UK.