IMPROVING problem road drains, gullying emptying and additional roadside grass cutting are all being targeted with a £2 million county council investment.
Staffordshire County Council is proposing spending the additional money on a range of projects after listening to feedback from residents and councillors.
David Williams, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “Staffordshire is a big county with a road network covering several thousand miles and in recent years pressure on public finances has seen a reduction in what we can spend on maintenance and upkeep.
“We do all we can with the money available, but we have to prioritise what we do and when.
“However, we’ve listened to feedback from residents and this year we’re investing an additional £2 million, on top of the £5 million already allocated, to target the some of the things we know residents care about.”
The funding includes provision for:
*repairs to road gullies at problem locations;
*more gully cleaning in specific places;
*tackling problem ditches which cause floods;
*extra grass cuts at the end of this summer and the start of the 2021 season;
*more road sweeping and weed control.
While most of the projects will be handled directly by the county council’s highways department, road sweeping is a borough and district council responsibility and the county council will offer those authorities £350,000 for more road sweeping, which, in turn, will help with weed control and keeping gullies clear.
Grass cutting is scheduled to be carried out a minimum of six times a year, although some borough, district and parish councils do additional work. The county council is adding an extra cut this autumn and another at the beginning of the growing season in 2021.
As well as targeting urban areas, the county council will be working with organisations such as the National Farmers’ Union to raise awareness of landowners’ responsibility.
Coun Williams added: “We’ll be using the additional £2 million to maximum effect and people should notice a difference.
“We’ll also be working with landowners, or taking direct action where necessary, to make improvements to problem ditches and overhanging trees that they have responsibility for.
“The investment will allow us to target some of the worst trouble spots and reduce the overall backlog.”