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Over 5,000 Sign Petition for ‘Fairer Road Funding’

Published on: 18 May, 2022
Updated on: 24 May, 2022

Surrey councillor Rebecca Paul, deputy cabinet member for levelling-up, started a petition to get ‘fairer roads funding’ for Surrey.

Julie Armstrong

local democracy reporter

More than 5,000 people have signed a petition calling on the government to make road funding fairer for Surrey motorists. The complaint is that the amount of traffic from outside of the county using Surrey roads to travel to Gatwick and Heathrow Airports is not taken into account.

Rebecca Paul, Surrey County Council’s deputy cabinet member for levelling-up, says there’s not enough money to cover all the wear and tear on its busy roads and that Surrey’s roads are “disadvantaged”.

Vehicles travelled 9.1 billion miles on Surrey’s roads in 2019, the fourth-highest amount of all local authorities in England after Hampshire, Essex and Kent.

Cllr Paul (Con, Tadworth, Walton & Kingswood) said: “It’s vital that our highway networks, relied on by everyone, are adequately maintained and existing funding is allocated in a fair, logical manner.

“Surrey has one of the most highly used road networks in England due to our proximity to London, Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

“Not taking into account traffic volume means that high traffic counties which are more than three times busier than others receive insufficient funding to cope with the additional wear and tear experienced.”

Around 2.9 per cent of the total vehicle miles for the whole of England are travelled on Surrey’s roads.

Yet for 2021/22, the Department for Transport allocated just 1.8 per cent of available funding to Surrey (£25.7m).

The petition was launched in December and has so far been signed by more than 5,280 people.

If it reaches 10,000 signatures then the government has to give a written response.

The deadline to sign is June 3 and as the campaign comes to a close, Cllr Paul, first elected to Surrey County Council last year, will present the petition to 10 Downing Street.

In 2014 the Department for Transport (DfT) consulted highway authorities and members of the public on funding for highway maintenance.

When asked if they agree that traffic volumes are not included in the funding formula, 63 per cent agreed and 32 per cent did not, of 118 respondents.

The DfT said: “Whilst responses saw the logic of including traffic volumes within the funding other responses continued to highlight that traffic is just one of a number of factors that influence the rate of deterioration.

“Many also felt that including this within the formula would over-complicate the elements and could also divert funding away from the proportion of the elements of the highway asset that are in need of more repair.”

The petition can be found at: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/601963.

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test One Response to Over 5,000 Sign Petition for ‘Fairer Road Funding’

  1. John Ferns Reply

    May 24, 2022 at 7:08 pm

    Great, but a pity this petition was not more widely known about as there are less than three weeks left (of the six months time allowed) to get 4,500 more signatures.

    At the risk of telling my grandmother how to suck eggs, alternatives to consider are for one of our Surrey constituency MPs to bid for a speaking slot in the daily adjournment debates, then apply to present it as a Private Members Bill at one of the monthly Friday sessions at Westminster. Ganging up with fellow constituency MPs in Hants, Essex & Kent would add more weight.

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