It’s potty... fury as Assembly slashes budget for Flintshire's roads

Reporter:

Staff reporter

A CONTROVERSIAL decision to slash the road budget by £10 million will put motorists’ lives in danger in Flintshire, according to a furious councillor.

Cllr Tony Sharps, executive member for environment, has hit out at Cardiff decision-makers for cutting the road grant from £15 million to £5m.

He said that the Welsh Assembly Government’s decision would have a devastating impact on the county’s road network and could lead to more accidents.

Flintshire will have less than a £250,000 share of the budget allocation which Cllr Sharps says could be spent on resurfacing just one road.

He said: “We have got 77 miles of roads, eight towns and 27 villages we have got to maintain and look after. We could spend £250,000 on just one village or even one lane.

“The work we have got to do is tremendous and this budget cut is going to affect our road maintenance horrendously.”

Cllr Sharps says it will put motorists’ lives in danger.

He said: “This is going to lead to more accidents and there will be more insurance claims. This is a very serious situation and I think the WAG is avoiding its duties.

They are letting everybody down.

“We have had a terrible winter so they should be helping us, not slashing the budget.”

WAG has allocated an additional £2.75m for road repairs following the winter, but Cllr Sharps says this will not stretch far enough. The county’s road network still has 1,600 pot holes waiting to be repaired.

He added: “We will not be able to do the work. To cut the budget from £15 million to £5 million is horrendous. This must be the biggest cut that any government department has made since devolution has been going.”

But WAG said the for the past three years the budget had been purposely higher and has now been brought back down to a normal level.

A spokesman said: “The Local Roads Maintenance Grant (LRMG) was a three-year allocation of £15 million a year for the sole purpose of bringing certain roads up to a specific standard.

“Surveys show this has now been achieved on a high number of roads and the allocation is coming to an end – that is why the amount of the grant has tailed off.

“The recent severe weather could not be predicted and that is why the Welsh Assembly Government has provided this extra £2.75 million on top of the grant to help councils tackle potholes created by the snow.”

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