Cabinet has agreed a £12m investment towards a wider £23.5m package to maintain Rhondda Cynon Taf’s Highways over the next three years – enabling the Council to continue its accelerated funding approach.

An Officer report to Cabinet Members, at their meeting on Tuesday, October 16, contained an update on the condition of the road network in Rhondda Cynon Taf, and the Council’s wider Highways Asset Investment Strategy. It put forward options for future maintenance of roads and footways.

The report indicated the condition of the County Borough’s road and footways has significantly improved since 2011/12 – when the Council’s Highway Investment Scheme (HIS) began – and re-iterated that continued investment is required to sustain this improvement and further reduce maintenance costs.

More than £28m has been invested by the Council to maintain County Borough roads over seven years. In 2011/12, before the HIS began, 10,142 defects were found on local roads, compared to 4,962 in 2017/18 following seven years of investment. The percentage of all classified A, B and C Roads requiring maintenance also dropped in this period, from 15.7% to 5.7%.

The report put forward an option to invest £23.5m over three years, to continue the Council’s accelerated funding approach. This would require – in addition to core Council funding and Welsh Government announcements for road maintenance funding over the next three years – an additional £12m investment. This option has a number of advantages, including improving the road network, reduced maintenance costs and reduced insurance claims.

A separate report to Cabinet, also on October 16, included the proposed Highway investment of £12m outlined as part of wider £23.55m proposals across the Council’s priority areas. This one-off investment, funded through earmarked reserves and prudential borrowing opportunities, will be considered by Full Council on October 24 following approval from Cabinet.

Cabinet agreed to the £12m Highways investment, outlined in the separate Highways report, for road network maintenance over the next three years.

Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highways, said: “On Tuesday, Cabinet considered a number of options for the future maintenance of the road network – including a three-year package worth £23.5m, which would continue the Council’s proactive accelerated funding approach to improve the network and continue to reduce long-term maintenance costs.

“An Officer report showed how the Council’s accelerated funding approach has improved our roads and footways over the past seven years – including more than 6,000 less defects in 2017/18 than in 2011/12. This saved the Council almost £700,000 in maintenance costs last year alone, allowing Council resources to be diverted to more productive means.

“The improvement brought about through accelerated investment is also illustrated through the fact that 16.2% of A Roads required maintenance seven years ago, compared to just 5.2% last year.

“Taking these points made by the Highways report into consideration, Cabinet agreed to continue the Council’s accelerated funding approach through a £12m investment, towards a wider £23.5m maintenance package.

“An earlier item in the Cabinet agenda also saw the proposed £12m investment for road maintenance agreed by Members as part of a wider £23.55m investment across a number of Council service areas, and this will be considered by Full Council on October 24.”

Posted on Wednesday 17th October 2018

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