A Labour frontbencher has branded the Government’s announcement of additional funding for road maintenance in Northamptonshire as “too little, too late.”
The campaign for the additional funding was led by Michael Ellis, the Tory MP for Northampton North, who was namechecked in the Chancellor’s Budget speech.
In a statement released today Richard Burden MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Minister, said: “The Chancellor’s recent announcements of additional funding for potholes are too little, too late. Last minute funding pledges won’t enable councils like Northamptonshire to plan roads maintenance properly for the future.
Mr Burden, who is the MP for Birmingham Northfield, added that Government cuts to road maintenance have created a ‘pothole epidemic’ that local authorities can’t cope with, as well as traffic delays and risks to road safety.
“Labour knows that the best way to improve the road network would be through a ‘fix it first’ strategy,” he said. “That is focused on repair and renewal, improving road safety and reducing unnecessary costs for drivers from potholes.”
Councillor Winston Strachan (Lab, Castle), labour’s shadow cabinet member for transport on Northamptonshire County Council, said: “Spending on road maintenance was just £15m in 2012/13, meaning the state of our roads is set to deteriorate further.
“The funding announced by government is clearly very welcome – but we feel it’s time this Tory Administration pressed their Government to create a proper strategic plan for local roads.
“This would be based on an asset management approach, secure funding certainty for councils and save taxpayers money in the long term.”