'Further decline of our highways network' inevitable

Highways Work

Cheshire East Council has been allocated a total of £13 million from the government's highways maintenance funding for next financial year, which includes £5.7 million for potholes.

This represents a drop of nearly £4 million, which is a 23% reduction compared with the current year. Furthermore, between 2016/17 and 2019/20 the level of funding was frozen at £12 million; the cumulative impact of that decision is now clear to everyone who uses the Cheshire East local road network.

Councillor Laura Crane, cabinet member for highways and waste said, "We work hard to maintain the roads in Cheshire East, but we can only do what is affordable based on available funding.

"This reduction in government money puts further pressure on the council's budget and will limit next year's maintenance programme, their announcement comes just six weeks ahead of the new financial year, so plans have already begun for works that we now find are unaffordable.

"We know how important the condition of our road network is to our residents and to road users, whether they be drivers, cyclists or bus passengers. Please let me reassure you that we will continue to do what we can with the resources we have available.

"Using the online reporting tool (see link below), residents are encouraged to continue to let us know about potholes and other road defects – that way we can prioritise the work that needs to be done."

Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council said: "An assessment by our strategic highways team has shown that we need to be investing £27 million each year, just to keep the roads in their current state. So, the outcome of the DfT's announcement, at £13 million, will inevitably be the further decline of our highways network.

"Our aim will always be to keep road users safe and we will always try to prioritise dangerous defects; however, until central government commits to provide an adequate level of funding, we will be unable to restore our road network to the condition that many residents reasonably expect."

Click here to report any road defects, including potholes, or call 0300 123 5020.

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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Alan Brough
Thursday 18th February 2021 at 4:41 pm
Why are Cheshire East’s roads so much worse than any other local authority area - assuming that all other LA’s are similarly cash- strapped?
Vin Sumner
Sunday 21st February 2021 at 12:05 am
I don’t know why or if Cheshire East is worse than other councils ; I do know that cycling is increasingly a dangerous activity on local rutted and pot holed roads ...
Bob Bracegirdle
Tuesday 23rd February 2021 at 3:22 pm
They will certainly say money and I’m sure that’s right. I was in Essex 18 months ago. All the roads were pothole free and even country lanes perfect to the edges (no breaking up). But they have the cash I am told.

I’ve had £1000 of tyres ruined on Cheshire East roads. Some of the problem is outsourcing and lack of personal contact (online reporting is seriously flawed in this). The rest is pure money and will.
Jeffrey Dennis
Tuesday 23rd February 2021 at 3:44 pm
Could I make a plea for our representatives on Cheshire East Council to try and ensure that funding for road improvements be concentrated on 'A' roads? If we have to pick and chose for surface repairs, then 'A' roads should be a priority. Since we soon learn the position of the ridiculous number of potholes in our towns and villages and make appropriate allowance for them, we and other drivers, quite often only drive 'A' roads in the county infrequently. Therefore, it comes as a surprise when drivers have to avoid deep potholes on 'A' roads and have to turn away from them, often turning towards other such drivers or cyclists. Like other comments, it is definitely true that Cheshire roads are comparatively worse than adjoining authorities. I just hope that Cheshire East is not playing politics.
Duncan Herald
Wednesday 24th February 2021 at 10:30 am
If you buy a Range Rover, you may be invited to a driving experience on open/rough land.
If you don't get invited, just drive from Alderley Edge to Macc. at over 30 mph; its much the same experience!
Mark Russell
Wednesday 24th February 2021 at 12:44 pm
@duncan. Perhaps we could sell tickets and use the money to sort the roads out??!!
David Alexander Connor
Wednesday 24th February 2021 at 4:54 pm
I assume all councils in the North are similarly cash strapped.

We have just moved from Bramhall and the roads there are in a condition which residents here can only envy.
The Knutsford Road near the roundabout at Chorley is highly dangerous where potholes are going to cause some serious damage. With the pavement there fairly narrow it also presents a potential danger to pedestrians.

Why is that other responders all seem to level criticism at Cheshire East on this subject?
Simon Brennan
Monday 1st March 2021 at 10:26 pm
Hole filled on Macclesfield Road just after the Alderley Edge Hotel heading towards the village just 2 months ago and now as deep as it was then. Incompetence! Every day you have to ziz zag down this major A road between Macclesfield and Alderley Edge to avoid major potholes.

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