Amanda Taylor

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Cambridgeshire and Peterborough set to lose road repair money

by Amanda Taylor on 19 February, 2021

Thank you to my colleague Cllr Lorna Dupre, deputy leader of the Lib Dem County Council group, for her scrutiny of the financial picture on road repair budgets for Cambridgeshire.

She writes:

The Government has announced its allocation of highways maintenance cash for the forthcoming year – and it looks like bad news for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

My comparison of 2020/21 with 2021/22 is as follows.

That’s nearly £7.5 million less this year than last year. We’re told that the figures in the ‘incentive’ column ‘are at this stage indicative’, but that accounts for only a very small part of the difference.

The £27,695,000 will initially go to Mayor Palmer’s Combined Authority, and will then be split pro rata between Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, with Cambridgeshire getting the lion’s share because of its greater size.

But this reduction will more than balance out the £4 million extra that Conservative county councillors in Cambridgeshire said they would be putting into pavement maintenance this coming year. And the proposal currently on the table to reclassify the A1123 from an A road to a B road could lose Cambridgeshire another quarter of a million pounds a year for road maintenance, as this is based on length of roads of various classifications.

For all the talk about the current Council leadership fighting for fairer funding for Cambridgeshire, it looks as if the outcome is the complete opposite.

Notes

The highways maintenance allocation consists of a number of elements, as shown in the table above.

  • HMB is ‘highways maintenance block’: the ‘needs’ element comes from a formula, and the ‘incentive’ element comes from a self-assessment questionnaire.
  • ITB is ‘integrated transport block’, for highways schemes costing under £5 million.

The figures in the table are taken by me from the two web pages linked above, but I have checked them with the Combined Authority who say they agree with my interpretation of them.

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