Derby City Council has committed an additional £9m over two years to invest in the city’s Highway network.
The £9m, in addition to the £3.915m to be approved in the Highway and Transport Work Programme in March, will be spent on both the structural repairs of both damaged roads and footways and on preventative measures to prevent future deterioration on roads and footways from the major routes through to local estate roads and cul-de-sacs.
The Highways team have begun work on identifying which routes will be addressed before pulling together a comprehensive two year programme of work, taking into consideration other projects and working with partners in utilities companies to co-ordinate a practical schedule.
Derby has a road network of approximately 761km of roads and 1,285km of footways. This is by far the Council’s biggest property asset which is worth over £1.2 billion.
Like all property assets, the condition of our roads and footways deteriorates over time. This challenge is not unique to Derby and we work extremely hard to manage the network as best we can with the budget available. However, the Council has now approved this additional funding to allow more work to take place.
Whilst two thirds of the money is directed to physical highway improvements, the remaining funding will be spent on people, plant and projects to support the overall network.
Additional resource will be employed to plan and design improvement schemes to maximise the numbers of improvements which can be completed during favourable weather and ensure all investment is programme managed effectively, in line with Council procedures. We will also monitor the effect investment is having on the roads and footways.
Money has also been set aside to pilot and implement innovative highway drainage management to help predict and prevent ponding and flooding on the highway. Streetpride will also invest in additional plant and equipment to take full advantage of the funding and increase productivity. Investing in a crash cushion for example, allows safer working on high speed roads rather than relying on emergency service assistance
Highway Trees form a vital asset to the streetscence and so the Arboricultural service will also benefit from additional investment with the completion of tree canopy coverage eco-survey and an updated Tree Asset Management System to include handheld mobile devices.
The council will also be carrying out some wildflower verge planting trials, to pilot the community benefits of flower planting to restore and manage wildlife, which could potentially see a reduction in grass cutting. More details on these projects will be announced in due course as well as further initiatives.
Councillor Jonathan Smale, Cabinet Member for Communities, Neighbourhoods and Streetpride said:
“I’m delighted to have secured this much need boost to our Highways maintenance funds.
“The deterioration of our roads is a big concern for all local authorities. This money will go a long way to repairing and preventing damage on some of our most important city routes and some of those other residential roads that may have been less of a priority previously.
“The task now is to work up detailed proposals to ensure the work can be done with minimal disruption to road users over the next few years.
I’m also really pleased that we can invest in improved equipment, software and new technology, all of which can help us improve our overall environment and air quality.”