Repair bill for Cambridgeshire’s peat-soil roads could top £300m
Around £300m of government cash could be needed to repair peat-soil roads like those found across Fenland, which are collapsing and riddled with potholes.
Cambridgeshire County Council agreed at its full meeting on Tuesday to continue lobbying the government for the necessary funds to rebuild peat soil roads.
Members unanimously supported a motion concerning peat soil-affected roads across parts of rural Cambridgeshire, which includes the whole of Fenland, initially proposed by Councillor Steve Criswell, but with an agreed amendment proposed by Councillor Alex Beckett.
It committed the council to continue to lobby the government for sums potentially in the region of £300m, needed to deliver essential road rebuilding work for those roads currently identified as being affected, as well as taking any and all emergency action that it can do within existing budgets.
The council heard that all members have already received a list of all roads affected and the remedial short-term actions being taken, and that as the roads were failing due to their subsoil, they need rebuilding not resurfacing, which makes the situation worse.
The council agreed its highways and transport committee should also publish a plan following consultation with parish councils which is already in progress, detailing the delivery of emergency repair work where this can be done within existing council highways budgets, such as lowering speed limits or imposing weight limits.
Councillor Steve Criswell welcomed the work to fully assess the road network but told the meeting he was disappointed at the time it is taking to complete.