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£5m investment to protect St Helens' road network 'will save money in long term'
1:16pm Monday 11th March 2013 in News
ROADS in the borough will be protected by a £5-million investment that St Helens Council believes will save money in the long term.
The severe winter weather of recent years, which has included flooding and extreme cold, has battered the borough’s road networks.
It has led to increasing costs for pothole repairs and patching up of carriageways and footways.
Now the council has approved an “invest to save” project, which will see £5-million worth of “preventative maintenance work” on its highways.
With the council’s departmental budgets under huge pressure, the funding will come from the council’s capital receipts, which is money generated by selling fixed assets, such as land and equipment.
Senior councillors believe the two-year investment will reduce the budget spent on reactive repairs and the likelihood of insurance claims.
Councillor Richard McCauley, cabinet member for environmental protection and safer Communities, claims it could lead to a long-term saving of £20million.
According to the council, studies show that planned measures are “20 times more cost effective than reactive maintenance”.
Councillor McCauley, cabinet member for environmental protection and safer communities said: “Based on a preliminary assessment, a capital investment of £5-million over the next two years will ensure our roads and footpaths are at an acceptable standard and will reduce the amount of on-going revenue required for repair.
“It is part of an on-going pledge by the council to deliver improvements for its residents, particularly in relation to roads and footways.”