Fringe Box



£3.7m for Pothole Repairs in Surrey

Published on: 17 Mar, 2023
Updated on: 18 Mar, 2023

By Emily Coady-Stemp

local democracy reporter

The government will give an additional £3.7 million for pothole repairs in Surrey.

But one Surrey councillor is calling for ministers to “go further” and change the way road funding is allocated from Westminster.

Tuesday’s budget, delivered by South West Surrey MP Jeremy Hunt, announced an additional £200 million for 2023/24 across the country for pothole repair.

Cllr Rebecca Paul In Elmbridge

Surrey County Council’s deputy cabinet member for levelling up, Cllr Rebecca Paul (Conservative, Tadworth, Walton & Kingswood) said she was “delighted” the government had recognised more funding was needed in Surrey for road repairs.

She told the LDRS: “The recent spate of potholes across our county affects every single one of us, so this additional money is much welcomed.”

She called on the government to “go further and give serious consideration” to changing how highways maintenance funding is allocated to take into account traffic volume.

Cllr Paul delivered a petition to Downing Street in June 2022 calling for funding for road repairs to be allocated by usage rather than the current formula which looks at the length of roads.

She said: “This would result in a fairer allocation of funds so that Surrey Highways is better able to address the backlog.”

Roads minister Richard Holden at the site of A3 and M25 junction works. Credit: Emily Coady-Stemp

Roads minister Richard Holden said the cash could mean another 75,000 potholes repaired.

He also praised Surrey’s lane rental scheme, which he said the county had been “at the forefront” of rolling out.

The scheme, rolled out in 2021, charges companies for works which cause delay at peak times on the county’s busiest roads.

Mr Holden said the scheme minimised delays from roadworks taking place because they were more often carried out at the same time, and this also reduced damage to roads.

He told the LDRS he wanted to see that rolled out more across the country.

On Cllr Paul’s calls for “fairer funding” from central government, Mr Holden said it was “swings and roundabouts” because a lot of the strategic road network, paid for out of national taxation, was in Surrey.

He added: “I’m always willing to listen to local concerns about these issues.

“I think it’s vitally important that we do get the balance right when it comes to road funding.”

A motion will be brought to a meeting of Surrey County Council on Tuesday, calling for the adoption of a “Vision Zero Safe System” and setting a target date for zero fatalities and severe injuries on Surrey’s roads.

Cllr Will Forster

Will Forster (Lib Dem, Woking South) will bring forward a motion saying: “Road collision statistics in Surrey have hardly changed over the last ten years.

“In 2021 24 people were killed and 647 were seriously injured.

“The effects of a road traffic collision can have a physical, emotional, social and economic impact on everyone involved.

“In financial terms the cost of road collisions in Surrey was approximately £250 million in 2021.”

A Surrey County Council spokesperson said: “While any additional funding for potholes is welcomed, as highlighted by the Annual Local Authority Roads Maintenance survey in 2022, the condition of roads across the UK would require a one-time catch up cost (over and above what authorities already receive) of £12.64 billion.

“The current commitment from government for English roads funding prior to the announcement in this week’s budget was £2.7 billion in total between 2022 and 2025, therefore the funding allocations from the government still fall far short of the needs of the UK roads.

“However Surrey County Council recognises the need to invest in our roads and so is investing additional funds beyond government grants and will be spending £188 million on improving and maintaining our roads and pavements over the next five years.”

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Responses to £3.7m for Pothole Repairs in Surrey

  1. Keith Francis Reply

    March 17, 2023 at 5:06 pm

    Doesn’t it depend upon which “pocket” the money comes from to be wasted in Surrey?

    A large re-configuration at a roundabout near me, to make it safer for pedestrians, then a re-surfacing job to complete the work costing another £100,000 is in the SCC budget for next year.

    Having supposedly spent over a week last year dealing with the footpath along the road near me they are now coming back to complete (re-do?) the work next week.

    Although it is listed in next week’s SCC Highways Bulletin, as usual, there has been no flyer from SCC Highways to residents explaining what they will be doing and where. I understand, from past experience, that they might print-off a handful for distribution but never enough for every affected house.

  2. William Brewster Reply

    March 17, 2023 at 10:37 pm

    We have begged Surrey Highways to fix the totally smashed lane outside our home for five years and got absolutely nowhere.

    I broke my foot in a fall and still no help. Absolutely disgusting behaviour. What does Surrey County Council do with our money?

  3. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    March 18, 2023 at 10:04 am

    Roads minister Richard Holden “… also praised Surrey’s lane rental scheme, which he said the county had been “at the forefront” of rolling out.”

    Whenever possible lane rental should be used to minimise disruption and delays to travelling public.

    Indeed in the mid-90s, SCC as the agent for the Highways Agency used lane rental, normally used for road maintenance, for the repair and strengthening of the bridge over the A3 carrying off-slip traffic to Farnham. Lane rental gave the contractor incentive to carry out the job as quickly and efficiently as possible so as to maximise his profit.

    It was a challenging scheme to replace the corroded end sections of the bridge by new concrete yet at the same time a lane of traffic for cars was maintained throughout on a temporary bridge sitting on top of it. The incentive was also to keep the traffic on the A3 below the bridge flowing with the least delay and disruption.

    The method of strengthening was a pioneering technique and probably unique for this type of bridge that was destined to be demolished and replaced by a completely new one. Large-scale delay and disruption was thus avoided and the scheme helped to save several million pounds of maintenance funding.

    In my career as a structural engineer, this was one of my most satisfying jobs in convincing the Highways Agency of my approach and its technical merits. It had financial advantages and also helped to minimise disruptions to the A3 traffic.

  4. David Roberts Reply

    March 20, 2023 at 6:16 pm

    How many potholes could be repaired with the £500 million likely to be spent on pointlessly “improving” Junction 10 on the M25?

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