NEARLY 100 residential roads are set to be resurfaced in the first year of the Council’s biggest ever road repair programme, with a further 439 resurfaced in years two and three.
Reading Borough Council has agreed a new £9 million investment package on newly laid road surfaces, pavements and footpaths as part of its budget for the next three years. The Council’s investment is separate and in addition to repairs which take place to main roads across Reading every summer.
A report presented to a meeting of the Council’s Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport Committee (SEPT) on Monday March 16th outlines how £3 million will be invested in the first year of its programme (20-21), made up of £2.5 million on residential roads and £500,000 on newly laid pavements and footpaths. (https://democracy.reading.gov.uk/documents/s10701/09%20Highway%20Maintenance%20Programme%202020-21%20and%202019-20%20Maintenance%20Update%20Report.pdf)
An audit of residential roads across Reading has determined those in the worst condition. Estimated costs suggest 92 roads could be resurfaced in the first year of the programme, and possibly up to 99 roads if tender prices allow. In total, 539 roads are earmarked for resurfacing over the full length of the three-year programme, which runs until 2023.
The full list of residential roads to benefit can be found at: https://democracy.reading.gov.uk/documents/s10702/Appendix%201%20-%20Minor%20Roads%203%20Year%20Surfacing%20Programme.pdf
Flexibility will be built into the funding programme to ensure the Council can respond quickly if and when other roads deteriorate over the course of programme. The Council also intends to contact utility companies in advance of the works to ensure works can be co-ordinated where possible.
At least 30, and possibly up to 39 pavements and footpaths, will also be resurfaced in year one following a similar audit. This element of works would be carried out by the Council’s own Highways and Drainage Operations Team to save on costs. In total, 210 pavements and footpaths have been earmarked for resurfacing over the three year programme, again with flexibility within the programme to respond to deterioration.
The full list of pavements and footpaths can be found at: https://democracy.reading.gov.uk/documents/s10703/Appendix%202%20-%20Pavements%203%20Year%20Surfacing%20Programme.pdf
Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
“This is Reading’s biggest ever investment in new road surfaces for residential streets. It comes in the aftermath of an exceptionally wet winter and a series of recent storms which have further impacted on the condition of road surfaces everywhere.
“The Council has moved quickly since agreeing the £9 million budget to identify those roads in the worst condition and preparatory work is scheduled to begin in April and accelerate through May, June and into the summer, which is when local residents will begin to see the real benefit of the Council’s investment package.
“As part of its most recent Resident’s Survey the Council asked people in Reading what their number one priority was for improvements, and 58% said better road surfaces. As a result nearly 100 residential roads and 40 pavements and footpaths are scheduled to be resurfaced in the first year of the repair programme in response to that feedback from local residents, with 539 roads and 210 footpaths earmarked for improvements over the full three years.”
Included in the same SEPT committee report is a proposed £1.432 million Highway Maintenance Award for 2020/2021 from the Department for Transport’s Local Transport Block Funding, including proposals to spend £800,000 on resurfacing of main roads and £ 374,000 to further upgrade LED Street lighting in Reading. The Council’s on-going street lighting programme has helped to cut energy consumption by 54% in 2018/19, compared to the 2013/14 peak, fitting in with the Council’s commitment to create a net-zero carbon Reading by 2030, in response to the Climate Emergency.