Road funding allocation to be decided by app
A popular cycling app is set to be used by Devon County Council to decide where some of the additional £27m of spending on the county’s roads will be allocated.
The £58m total is the largest ever annual investment in Devon’s road network, with smaller and unclassified roads receiving the majority of the extra cash.
And the additional spending will go towards roads that are used by cyclists or walkers, with the county council using the cycling app Strava to get data on which routes are popular.
The decision made by Devon County Council’s cabinet on Wednesday follows one of the wettest winters on record.
Funding from the Government’s Potholes Fund will be used to repair road surfaces, increase pothole prevention and to combat the damage caused to highways, bridges and structures during the winter months.
The extra money will enable the county council to improve the plans that were already in place to tackle the effects of weathering and previous storm damage and use community knowledge to highlight specific areas that require maintenance.
An extra £6m will be spent on Devon’s principal road network, with £3.2m extra of bridges and structures, with £17.7m to be spent on smaller roads, such as ‘C’ and unclassified roads.
Cllr Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for highway management, said: “The announcement of additional highway maintenance funding is great news for Devon.
“It will be integral to providing appropriate long-term repairs to Devon’s road network and the safety of our highways.
“All parts of Devon benefit as a result of this funding.
“The funding will be invaluable in enabling high-usage routes to be safe, properly maintained, and appropriate for active travel, like walking or cycling.”
Of the £58m, less than £2m is to be spent on cycleways, a figure that concerned Cllr Frank Biederman who said that it looked ‘too small’.
But Meg Booth, chief officer for highways, infrastructure, development and waste, said that in proportion, Devon didn’t have that many cycle ways and that a lot of active travel takes place on the more rural roads.