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£8.5 million identified to improve borough roads

Around £8.5 million has been set aside to improve the condition of borough roads this year, council bosses have revealed.

That is nearly double what the local authority spent last year. There was £4.3 million laid out on road repairs in 2019/20, with more than 60 streets and 21 pavements resurfaced along with scores of pothole repairs. The budget has been increased to £4.7 million this year – and that will be supplemented by a further £3.8 million in government funding. It follows a successful bid by West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to the Challenge Fund, with the cash available to improve roads with particular focus on bus route networks.

Council bosses have vowed it is now “full steam ahead” with works that were delayed due to the coronavirus lockdown. They visited Gate Street in Upper Gornal, which is one of the roads to have recently been resurfaced and re-marked.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, said:

"The coronavirus pandemic inevitably resulted in a delayed start to works on many roads.

"But as the lockdown eases, we are committed to moving full steam ahead with our plans to improve the borough’s roads.

"We have put our money where our mouth is by nearly doubling last year’s spend.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for environmental, highways and street services, said:

"We know how important it is to residents that our roads are in good condition and we have committed to spend money this year to improve as many as we can.

"The programme is already under way and we’re seeing excellent work with Gate Street being a good recent example.

"We will have specialist resurfacing teams contracted to the council and our own highways team out in force in the coming weeks and months and I look forward to seeing the results."

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