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Liberal Democrats on Kent County Council

Kent’s roads now in “managed decline” as repair bill hits £630 million

February 19, 2018 12:43 PM

• Critical state of County's roads and pavements affecting all Kent residents
• The repair backlog could top £1 billion over the next ten years
• £77 million needed per year just to stop situation getting worse; KCC are spending less than £29 million
• Lib Dems propose spending extra £5m from reserves to use on the most urgent repairs this year

The bill to fix Kent's crumbling road network now stands at £630m after years of neglect from the Conservative administration.
Kent's Conservatives have known for over a decade that their failure to provide adequate support for our failing road system would lead to major long-term problems.

Even when Kent County Council had the finance available, Tory councillors ignored successive warnings from their own officers, and the Liberal Democrat opposition, about the dire state of the county's roads.

KCC now admits the situation is 'grave', and reports that £630 million is needed to cover the current backlog of highways repairs. This backlog could rise to more than £1 billion over the next ten years.

Yet the Conservatives have proposed to spend just £27.7 million next year on highways maintenance. They need to spend £77 million each year just to prevent the situation getting worse.

KCC has now proposed a further reserve of £2.4 million to be spent over two years. The Liberal Democrats propose to double this reserve to £5 million to be utilised within the coming year.

Ian Chittenden, Lib Dem spokesperson for Environment and Transport said: "The sums allocated by the Conservatives for the Ian Chittendenupkeep of KCC maintained roads are pitifully small. Our roads are in managed decline.

"Cyclists and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to poor road conditions and more potholes. The elderly will be at further risk where pavements deteriorate. The situation is fast becoming critical.

"Kent's roads and footways will continue to decline and, if we do nothing now, we'll face an even bigger bill in the future. The extra funds proposed by the Liberal Democrats will allow some of the highest priority repairs to be addressed."

Click here for the latest KCC committee report.