Wednesday, October 9, 2013
County councillors warned despite all the money poured into the region’s flood-damaged roads, there is still a £5.5million backlog.
DEVON will be counting the multi million cost of last year’s devastating floods for the next four years.
Devon County Council’s Cabinet meeting was told today (Wednesday) that despite the repairs undertaken, more than £5.5 million of outstanding work remains.
As more calls were made for additional Government funding for roads, councillors agreed proposals to deal with the legacy left by the major flooding in 2012-2013, when Devon’s roads sustained almost £18 million of damage.
They endorsed a programme for prioritising remaining repairs; including the grade II listed Collard Bridge at Snapper near Barnstaple in 2014-15.
Councillors heard how some £12.2million was spent in the immediate aftermath of the floods, clearing debris, patching roads, reinstating embankments and repairing bridges, roads and culverts.
Devon received a little over £3 million of Government Bellwin funding as a contribution towards the repairs, and the council took £3.6million from its reserves to cope with the volume of work.
Now, just over £2 million will be invested this financial year, leaving another £3.5 million of repairs over the following three financial years.
“A huge demand has been places on our resources at a time when we can ill afford it,” said Councillor Stuart Hughes, cabinet member for highway maintenance and flood prevention.
“We need to continue to highlight the under funding of highway maintenance and we need to lobby Government for more funding to maintain our highway asset in Devon.
“Unfortunately it will take time to restore our roads so it’s correct to prioritise this backlog so that we can address the roads with most impact first.
“Abandoning a road will only be considered in exceptional circumstances but it must be an option to make the best use of resources.”
The council said Devon’s 8,000 mile highway network, the largest of any authority in the country, needs £62 million a year to maintain its current condition, while the budget for the current financial year stands at £39 million.