Liverpool City Council is set to invest £80 million over the next eight years in an effort to improve the condition of the city’s highways network.
The move is expected to deliver major savings for the city by reducing urgent and ongoing highway repairs.
The city’s cabinet will be asked, on Friday 21 February, to give the go-ahead to the plans, which will drastically cut Liverpool’s £256m highways maintenance backlog by 2022.
Under the proposals, major work will take place to improve the poorest sections of the highway network, particularly the strategic gateways into Liverpool and key links within the city. The work, which will include carriageway resurfacing and pothole repairs, will be carried out over eight years, avoiding simultaneous work on neighbouring routes, to keep disruption to a minimum.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “A lack of investment – primarily due to a shortage of central government funding – over a number of years, has seen our roads continue to deteriorate. I am constantly talking to local people about the potholes and damaged road surfaces which not only damage cars, but damage our city’s image. We want to take significant steps in putting that right.”
Liverpool City Council would secure £80m of funding for the work by using money which is known as ‘capital and capital investment’. This is money which the council is not allowed to spend on day-to day services but which can only be spent of property and assets, such as land and roads. In household terms, capital is similar to borrowing through a mortgage and using the money to buy a house or pay for an extension.
Currently, the city council receives approximately £3.5m each year from central government for the maintenance of its highways, including carriageways, footways, street lighting, and highway structures. This annual funding will be directed towards the ongoing maintenance of roads not included in the £80m investment programme, such as unclassified roads, and B and C roads.
Cabinet member for transport, councillor Tim Moore, added: “These proposals are hugely important for Liverpool. Our highways network has been in desperate need of investment for many years and this approach gives us the opportunity to unlock funding which can drive up the quality of roads across our city.”
Roads will be prioritised based on condition and other factors, such as strategic importance, economic benefits, development potential of the area and the cost of ongoing maintenance.
Amey will deliver the programme of works under the council’s existing contract for highways.