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£82 million of HS2 Money to Help Improve Surrey’s Road Surfaces

Published on: 20 Nov, 2023
Updated on: 20 Nov, 2023

A Guildford pothole

By Martin Giles

£8.3 billion, redirected from HS2 funding, is to be used to make driving smoother and safer for road users across Surrey and the rest of the country’s 30+ upper-tier local authorities. Surrey’s share is expected to be £82.4 million for its roads, some of the most heavily used in the UK.

Mark Harper MP

Transport Secretary Mark Harper and Richard Holden, the Conservative party chairman, met Guildford’s MP Angela Richardson at Surrey Highways and announced an unprecedented package of measures to resurface, mend and improve roads.

Ms Richardson said she was delighted to welcome the significant funding uplift for local road improvements and Mark Harper described the announcement as a “victory for all road users”.

The long-term plan to fix roads could help drivers save on repairs of damage caused by potholes, which is sometimes claimed back from the county council. It is claimed that the extra funding could help resurface 5,000 miles of road.

Angela Richardson MP

Angela Richardson said: “I was delighted that the Transport Secretary and the Conservative Party Chairman visited Guildford this week and have announced unprecedented measures to eliminate potholes and boost the confidence of drivers and cyclists.

“It is fantastic that this funding will give local authorities certainty and significantly support the effort to prevent new potholes from surfacing.

But local Liberal Democrats were dismissive. A spokesperson said: “Under the Conservatives, Surrey has consistently been named as the pothole capital of the UK.  With that appalling recent record, it’s difficult to believe anything the Conservatives say about improving our highways.”

Guildford Labour was more optimistic: “We are really pleased that the Tory County Council will finally be able to fix some of the dreadful potholes on Surrey’s roads.”

But they asked: “Just wondering if this is where the spare levelling up money was meant to go when HS2 was cancelled? We’d be pleased to understand how that judgement call was made.”

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Responses to £82 million of HS2 Money to Help Improve Surrey’s Road Surfaces

  1. Anthony Mallard Reply

    November 20, 2023 at 4:22 pm

    This is excellent news but only if the Surrey County Council (SCC) contractor’s work is properly supervised to ensure it is of an acceptable quality and capable of a long term repair, otherwise the money spent will be wasted.

  2. Martin Elliott Reply

    November 20, 2023 at 4:31 pm

    Why is this article, party politics propaganda, missing so much basic information.
    As with so many press release based articles, the announcement is just an amount of money. Is this an addition to the annual grant to the SCC for repairs, or for improvements, or flawed schemes of Active Travel like London Road.

    Where is the standing costs related to the problem. Like the SCC estimate of how long, how much work, to produce a defect free road system in Surrey. With present availability of contractor resources, how long would it take?

    I’d suggest we are looking at far more than five years and this ‘extra’ is under five per cent of the needed funds.

  3. Jim Allen Reply

    November 20, 2023 at 6:36 pm

    Excellent now all we need to reset the technical specifications / settings for what is a pot hole! Currently 40mm deep in broad terms while the top coat is 35mm thick. Thus the base layer “has to be destroyed” by hydraulic action when it rains before repair

    If the technically specification was repair if the base layer is exposed.. every single pothole if repaired correctly with adhesive and filler would never reappear. Now we have the money…. we can arranged to do the job properly!

  4. John Lomas Reply

    November 21, 2023 at 12:18 am

    Since when did Surrey migrate to The North? I could have sworn I heard a politician saying that the HS2 moneys saved would be spent in The North doing all the cross country and other access improvements needed.

  5. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    November 22, 2023 at 12:17 pm

    TEST to check why comments when posted are not appearing as ‘awaiting moderation’

  6. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    November 22, 2023 at 4:03 pm

    Good news for Surrey roads. I did mention here in the Dragon News on 3rd of June 2022 that curtailing the HS2 and scrapping the M25 J10 schemes would make it possible to fund road improvements for the whole national road network.

    Maybe the SoS would look again at the A3 widening of the Guildford section that is long overdue having been at least three times in the programme and then shelved.

    The first development scheme was worked upon in the early 90s when at the same time poor condition of Deerbarn Bridge in Guildford carrying the A3 over Reading to Gatwick line came to light.

    The decision to remove the earth fill about 600mm deep on top of the bridge deck and replace with steel composite bridges was taken as a temporary measure. These bridges over the top of the old bridge have no maintenance access and the old deteriorating bridge underneath would have to be removed – all to be replaced during a widening scheme. This is now nearly 30 years on and the replacement work is still pending.

    I have suggested a possible widening scheme of the A3 outlined in the document that can be found by searching for keepandshare A3 widening on the Internet.

    This solution unlike the tunnel option promoted by the Guildford MP and others is a pragmatic one and the cost is affordable, The sequence of widening has been planned carefully in order to maintain two lanes of traffic in each direction at all times.

  7. Graham Cole Reply

    November 22, 2023 at 4:17 pm

    With all of the incompetence surrounding the implementation of HS2, I’d forgotten where the HS2 money had come from. On reflection, I think it may have come from taxes. This would means that £82m of taxes will go to Surrey roads. Of course, a lot of other tax money has been lost through incompetent governance.

  8. Roger Carnegie Reply

    November 23, 2023 at 12:43 pm

    The SCC highways budgets are around £160 million per annum. This covers more than just roads, but roads take up the lion’s share.

    £82 million is a welcome amount but isn’t really going to do much once spread out over the counties 3,000 miles of road.

    I’d welcome the additional money spent on footpath maintenance and would have much preferred it if we could have just built a new railway line as then we’d have something to show for the money.

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