Repairs bill may force council to close roads

Have your say

CRUMBLING roads in a Yorkshire city could be closed to traffic because the local council cannot afford to fix them.

Hull Council is considering the drastic step after a report revealed it would cost more than £126m to clear the maintenance backlog on its highways and footpaths.

The budget for this year because of financial pressures is just £3m.

Coun Martin Mancey, portfolio holder for environment, transport, and emergency planning, said: “Unless there is an increase in funding, at some point in the future, some roads may close if we can’t afford to repair them.

“Unless there is significant investment from somewhere in road maintenance over the coming years, some difficult decisions might have to be taken.

“They could include deciding whether to maintain the main transport routes around the city and accepting that, at the same time, we might not be in a position to maintain or repair other roads in a condition that would meet people’s expectations.

“In those circumstances, it could mean introducing traffic restrictions on some roads in some cases.”

Last week, it emerged that 26 per cent of the city’s A-roads are in danger of structural failure, while a similar numbers of B and C roads are in the same condition and more than 50 miles of unclassified roads and nearly a third of footpaths need major repairs.

The report, which will go before the council’s Cabinet on Monday, says “urgent” action is needed and warns that without extra investment, roads will deteriorate further leading to more complaints, insurance claims - and a “declining image” for the city.

According to the national Highways and Public Transport public satisfaction survey, just over a quarter of residents are satisfied with the state of the city’s roads, down from 38 per cent in 2009.

The cost of putting the roads back “as new” is about £73m. Many concrete roads were built before 1939 and are approaching the end of their life, with two bad winters also taking their toll.