Roads revolution for Manchester?

Manchester City Council has announced a ‘Roads Revolution’ in the form of proposals for major investments to improve road usability in the city.

In announcing a proposed £100m investment Manchester’s roads, the council said that funding pressures since 2010 have contributed to a deterioration and lack of thorough maintenance on some of the city’s roads which needs to be urgently addressed.

Executive member for the environment, councillor Rosa Battle, said: “We recognise the vital importance of improving the condition of our roads to support the city’s continuing economic and residential growth and ensure it remains a great place to live. That's why there are no reductions to highway maintenance in our proposed budget and, instead, we are planning this major investment programme which will significantly reduce the blight of potholes across the city over time and ensure high-quality roads.”

Currently around five per cent of Manchester’s roads are assessed as having a priority need of resurfacing and without any actions to address this, this figure is estimated to rise to as much as 62% of Manchester’s roads within five years.

Of the £100m new investment, £80m will go towards the resurfacing and maintenance of existing roads, with this stream of work intended to tackle the problem of existing potholes as well as ensuring that all roads are repaired as needed. The remaining £20m will go towards schemes to address road needs to keep up with the city’s continued growth.

“We have listened to people who say they are fed up of potholes and put together this major investment programme to address this," said Battle. "We will ensure this work is phased over a period of time to start delivering improvements as soon as possible while minimising disruption. This is about making things better for drivers,” she said.

With reactive road maintenance costing the council around £3m annually, which is anticipated to rise to £7m annually by 2021, the proposed investment is designed to cut this cost in the long term satisfying council budgeting as well as bringing peace of mind to those using Manchester's roads.