Liberal Democrats call for Ward Highways Funding

15 May 2024
Councillor Fenton by a large pothole

Liberal Democrat councillors have called on Labour council bosses to reverse their decision to scrap Ward Highways funding which can be used for much-needed improvements to local roads, footpaths and cycle paths.

The call comes after the council belatedly published the list of roads and paths that will be repaired or resurfaced in the 2024/25 financial year.

The funding that the council has for highways maintenance – which comes from central government and local council taxpayers – is not enough to reverse the decline in the state of local roads and footpaths, which creates hazards for pedestrians and cyclists in particular. Under the Lib Dem-led administration, each ward had a highways budget which they could use for small-scale improvements to roads and footpaths, or to add to central funding to enable an improvement scheme to cover a greater area.

In their fully-costed alternative budget, the Lib Dems proposed a £1m ward highways fund for 2024/25 that could have helped to deliver local road and path improvements to make it safer for people to choose to walk, wheel or cycle. Labour councillors however voted down the proposal.

Cllr Stephen Fenton, Lib Dem Transport spokesperson said:

“It was incredibly disappointing that Labour councillors chose to reject the £1m investment that the Lib Dems proposed. It could have helped to tackle known issues with the condition of roads and paths which pose a hazard in many of our communities. If as a city we are serious about making walking, wheeling and cycling safer alternatives for people, that will need investment.

“There is a repairs backlog of £190m in York, which realistically is only going to be solved by sustained increased funding from Government. But we can and should do what we can with the funds we have available locally. Liberal Democrats will be happy to work with the newly-elected Mayor to make sure that our city, and the wider region, gets the funding that it needs.

“There are also concerns about funds being diverted from road and footpath repairs to meet additional costs arising from the Hostile Vehicle Mitigation bollard implementation in the city centre. A recent report highlighted a £700,000 cost increase due to decisions made by the Labour administration on how the scheme is to be delivered.”

Link to published officer decision on Highways Maintenance Programme 2024-25

This website uses cookies

Like most websites, this site uses cookies. Some are required to make it work, while others are used for statistical or marketing purposes. If you choose not to allow cookies some features may not be available, such as content from other websites. Please read our Cookie Policy for more information.

Essential cookies enable basic functions and are necessary for the website to function properly.
Statistics cookies collect information anonymously. This information helps us to understand how our visitors use our website.
Marketing cookies are used by third parties or publishers to display personalized advertisements. They do this by tracking visitors across websites.