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£6 million boost for Wirral roads

More than £6 million will be invested on improving Wirral’s roads, bridges and streetlights if Cabinet approves proposals due to be put before it later this month.

The reports highlight details of allocations of funding Wirral has received from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Department for Transport – as well as its own contributions from its Capital fund.

They also set out how this combined funding will be allocated for both highway maintenance works and integrated transport as the Council seeks to deliver its pledge to provide a transport infrastructure that is fit for the future.

An allocation of £2.625 million from the combined authority from the Highway Maintenance budget, will be supplemented in 2019-20 by a further £315,000 from its Key Route Networks fund, plus extra funding from the Department of Transport of £1.465 million and a contribution from the council’s own Capital fund of £500,000.

Jointly they will fund improvements  to main classified roads identified in the council’s Structural Maintenance Programme, upgrades to minor unclassified roads – details of which will be revealed in a separate report to Cabinet in the near future – works to bridges and a project to fix long-standing power supply problems to the borough’s street lights.

A separate report seeks Cabinet’s approval to accept a £1.15 million award from combined authority’s Integrated Transport Block to be invested in supporting projects and priorities set out in Wirral’s Transport Plan for Growth Programme 2019-20.

Cllr Stuart Whittingham, Cabinet member for Highways and Infrastructure, said: “Having a top quality highways and transport network is essential to a growing economy, encouraging existing residents to stay and attracting new residents and businesses to the area.

“The proposals we set out in the reports due to go to Cabinet show our commitment to continuing the important and excellent work we put in to maintaining and developing an infrastructure that is in as good shape as anywhere in the country.”

The projects supported by the Transport Plan for Growth funding range from measures that will improve road safety – for drivers and pedestrians – measures that encourage more sustainable forms of transport such as walking, cycling or public transport and those that contribute to reducing the area’s carbon footprint.

The Highway Maintenance allocation will be split into four distinct areas – main classified roads and footways (£2.115m), minor unclassified roads and footways (£2.54m), bridges (£150,000) and streetlighting, to fix cable faults which cause power supply issues on the lighting network (£100,000).

“We take our duty to maintain our highway network very seriously,” added Cllr Whittingham. “In deciding which schemes need to be given priority, officers look at a range of considerations, not least the feedback and reports we receive from people – councillors, residents and our own inspectors; we do listen.

“By carrying out this long-term programme of highways improvements and maintenance we will extend the life of many of our routes and help keep Wirral on the move.”