This review is now closed for comment. In March 2014 we will be asking for your views on what our future priorities should be and how we can achieve further spending reductions for 2015/16 and 2016/17.
Devon County Council has a legal responsibility to repair and maintain 8,000 miles of highways in Devon, (this excludes those roads looked after by the Highways Agency). As well as looking after the roads, the County Council also has to maintain:
- 3,500 bridges
- 1,750 retaining walls
- Over 75,000 street lights
- 3,200 miles of footpaths and cycle ways
- 180,000 gullies
We also look after all the traffic signals and pedestrian crossings in Devon, and make sure our roadside verges are maintained.
During the winter we maintain our highways and key routes through a winter gritting and snow clearance programme. In 2012, we used 30,000 tonnes of salt, covering more than 2,000 miles of our highway network.
Decades of under-funding and increased rates of deterioration due to severe weather have created a huge backlog of maintenance now estimated to cost more than £700m.
The cost of dealing with the immediate clean up and repair of Devon’s highways after the severe weather events in 2012 alone cost Devon an extra £12.2m – but in total almost £18 million of damage was caused to our road network. More than 86,000 potholes and safety defects have been repaired so far in 2013.
Around £14 million has already been cut from the highways revenue budget since 2009, but it is vitally important that we can find different, more cost-effective ways of doing things and that non-essential work is stopped so that we can maintain a safe and effective highway network while helping to support economic growth.