THE backlog of road maintenance works in Barnsley is an estimated £60m to £70m, according to a senior officer.
Paul Castle, service director for environment and transport at Barnsley Council, told a meeting of the council’s overview and scrutiny committee on Tuesday that the huge amount was something seen across the country.
“This is not a challenge in Barnsley, it’s a challenge in probably every authority in the country,” he added.
“There simply isn’t enough money to manage the road network and that includes intervention that needs to be put in place.
“The backlog of maintenance is around £60m to £70m, which is quite shocking, but every authority is in the same position.”
Coun James Higginbottom added that a £90,000 pot of funding for road safety schemes was part of the council’s move from being ‘more reactive to proactive’.
More than £17m has been earmarked to repair Barnsley’s roads and invest in its highways network in the coming financial year.
The funding is part of a highways capital programme, which will see the cash allocated to fix roads, footpaths, bridges, street lights, traffic signs and signals.
A £2m investment has been set aside for improvements on the borough’s highways.
A road maintenance survey by the Asphalt Industry Alliance released in March reported that the backlog of carriageway repairs in England and Wales increased by almost a quarter on last year’s figure to £12.64bn - the equivalent of £75.7m for every local authority in England and Wales.
Rick Green, chair of the Asphalt Industry Alliance, added: “Against a backdrop of increased costs caused by rising inflation, the message from this year’s research is clear: those responsible for maintaining our local roads are fast approaching the point where they are no longer waving but drowning.
“They have a legal responsibility to keep our roads safe, but flat funding allocations to carriageway maintenance in real terms - and rising costs - means they have to make difficult choices about keeping their networks open and safe today, versus improving structural resilience for today and tomorrow.”