Cabinet to discuss update on transport cash

More detail needed before decisions about £238m funding will be spent

A pair of feet on a bus

Plans to invest millions of pounds in fixing roads, supporting cycling, walking and bus travel, tackling road safety and congestion and boosting greener travel across Leicestershire, are set to be drawn up.
 
Published today (Monday), a new County Council report stresses that, although Leicestershire has received £238m of Government ‘Network North’ money for the next seven years, much detailed work needs to be carried out before cash from the Local Transport Fund (LTF) can be allocated to projects across the county.
 
Councillor Ozzy O’Shea, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “While we hugely welcome the extra funding, it’s not going to be an overnight fix of everything out there, so we do need to manage expectations.
 
“First, we need detailed Government guidance on how much we’ll get each year – and what we do know is that the allocations will be lower in the earlier years.
 
“We have priorities all over the county where we might want to deliver schemes, but we need to work through this and make sure we are delivering the improvements that give the greatest benefit to our communities.”
 
Network North money, switched to other road and transport projects following the cancellation of HS2, has also brought in an additional £2.25m for pothole fixing and repairing other highway defects. This is on top of £32m – a combination of money allocated by the council and maintenance grant from the Department for Transport – already earmarked for the coming financial year.
 
Mr O’Shea added: “What we do know, is that from 2025 onwards, there will be more allocations for maintenance work and, hopefully, we can then begin to provide some serious investment to improve our highways network. We are already among the top performing councils when it comes to residents’ satisfaction with the condition of our roads, despite the ongoing challenge posed by more defects. This extra funding will help us to do more in the areas most in need.”
 
Next Tuesday (26 March), the council’s cabinet will consider the update, approving the development of a long term plan for the LTF and plans for wider consultation. 
 
Also, under discussion at the meeting will be the council’s four-year capital programme, coming in at over £200m, and including ‘big-ticket’ items such as the continued construction of the North and East Melton Mowbray Distributor Road, advance work on the A511 Coalville improvement scheme and cycling and walking infrastructure projects. 
 
The meeting on Tuesday, 26th March is at 2pm and will be shown at www.leicestershire.gov.uk/webcast.
 

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