£69million needed to bring South Tyneside roads up to standard

A road needing repairs.
A road needing repairs.

A whopping £69million needs to be spent to bring South Tyneside’s roads up to standard - with the repair bill to rise further in the next 10 years.

South Tyneside Council says they need to find an extra £15million by 2027 just to keep pace with necessary fixes to the borough’s highways network.

Coun Moira Smith

Coun Moira Smith

They warn roads will continue to deteriorate without an almost immediate major cash injection.

Latest projections show the backlog repair bill – already standing at a whopping £69million – will jump to £84million within a decade.

Those figures compare with a capital budget allocation this year of just £4.485million – less than half the amount required to maintain current standards. Of that, only £2.23million will be spent on carriageway resurfacing.

A further £2million will be used to keep footpaths in shape, with £255,000 
allocated for structure repairs, such as bridge maintenance.

Councillor Moira Smith, lead member for area management and community safety, said: “Sustained cuts from national government over many years means that the highways network in South Tyneside is facing a backlog of £69million to bring it up to standard. However, it is important to see this in a national context, with the cost of bringing the roads up to reasonable standard across the country estimated at between £12 and £14 billion. Central government has left the burden of managing an ageing road infrastructure with local authorities whilst withdrawing the funding needed to deliver improvements.

“We currently receive less than half the funding needed just to ‘stand still’.

“Despite this, we are committed to ensuring our limited resources are used in the most efficient manner possible. We are adopting a more strategic approach to the maintenance of our highways by using a Highways Asset Management Plan to reduce costs and bring about long-term benefits.”