Liberal Democrat candidate for York and North Yorkshire's Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, James Barker, has condemned the Government's cuts to the funds given to councils in York and North Yorkshire to carry out transport maintenance as 'potentially unsafe'.
On 18 February the Government announced their plans to cut road maintenance funding for local councils. For 2021/22 the funding to North Yorkshire County Council has been reduced from £49.6m in 2020/21 to £37m in 2021/22. In York the funding has been reduced from £4m in 2020/21 to £2.8m in 2021/22.
York’s percentage reduction was greater than the overall national percentage reduction. Had the reduction applied to York been in line with the national overall reduction, the city would have received £3.1m rather than £2.8m.
The total cut to Government highways maintenance funding for York and North Yorkshire in 2021/22 is £13.8m.
James Barker said: "These cuts are deeply concerning and whilst councils may not immediately reduce plans for road maintenance, this cut can only add further pressure to already stretched budgets. Whatever happens, this is £13.8m that could have been spent on vital improvements to our roads.
"Potholes and poor road surfaces are acknowledged to be potentially deadly for cyclists, also damaging shock absorbers, suspension springs and wheels in vehicles - potentially causing road traffic accidents. Unless the Government properly funds road maintenance, further pressure will be placed on our local emergency services."