Calderdale Council faces urgent £54m road repair bill
Calderdale is on target in maintaining its A, B and C class roads – it is unclassified roads which are more of a financial headache.
Members of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet recently considered the council’s Best Borough in the North position, where it lies sixth overall at the halfway point of the council year when measured as one of 20 comparable northern boroughs.
But one of three areas where the council is in the lower part of the rankings (14th) is in the condition of its roads.
The detailed report to councillors states the condition of Calderdale’s A roads is within its target and has been for the past seven years, while it has been within target for B and C class roads for the last four years.
However, unclassified roads cover three quarters of Calderdale’s network.
The annual road condition survey shows four per cent of the 149km A road network – six km – required urgent mainenance at £5.5 million.
By contrast, unclassified roads in Calderdale make up 861km of the network and the number needing urgent maintenance, 26 per cent, equates to 223km at a cost of £54.5 million, said the report.
The council has a ten per cent target for unclassified roads but with overall capital funding annually of £2.6 million for the roads network, and a three per cent depreciation in condition each year, spending of £6.2 million would be required if the “steady state” of the unclassified roads portion of the network was to be maintained.
On cuurent funding, with that £3.6 million gap, a managed decline option is the one which is affordable, councillors learned.
To try and combat this the council will re-examine additional capital funding and will also look at new software to allow more easily modelling for a number of spending options.
The Highways directorate is making it easier to report problems and monitor its own process in resolving them, and a review of the department is also being carried out with the aim of prioritising efforts and driving improvements.
As the council has a relatively low population density per mile – it is the lowest of the northern boroughs – it effectively results in a higher repair cost per head of population, says the report.