UK council plans €64 million highways upgrade
First publishedon www.WorldHighways.com
Milton Keynes Council in the UK is to borrow €64 million (£50 million) for a new road repair programme to tackle the city’s “decaying" roads and pavements.
The 1960s new town, which is located about an hour’s drive north of London, has approved a plan which includes more than €27 million (£21 million) for vital road repair work, €18 million (£14 million) to tackle its ageing bridges and more than €9 million (£7 million) to restore the council’s pavement and footpath network.
Milton Keynes’ council said that it is more cost effective to make full scale upgrades to the city’s infrastructure, rather than carrying out a series of "minor maintenance" repairs. The money is planned to go into the Milton Keynes budget for the 2014/15 financial year.
According to council leader Andrew Geary, “the decaying infrastructure needs investment and at the moment we are spending a lot of money every year doing minor maintenance on roads when actually what is needed is a far more fundamental repair. The one thing we will not do is compromise road safety and roads that fall into disrepair are a real hazard."
The higher up-front cost will be financed by setting aside a sum of money for the next four years which it will be put towards financing a loan to be repaid with an annual interest rate of 4.5%. "This year we put £1m into a fund and we will continue to do so to build up a reserve against which we can borrow," said Mr Geary. "The borrowing will be more than offset by the fact that the minor road repairs that we are having to do at the moment just to keep up, won't actually need doing."
The work is due to be completed over the next seven years.