West Yorkshire Combined Authority responds to reduction of Transport maintenance funding

West Yorkshire Combined Authority responds to reduction of Transport maintenance funding.

Earlier this week (Monday 15 February 2021), the Government announced an overall cut to the Transport maintenance funding, from a total West Yorkshire allocation of £46.7 million (2020/21) to £36.5 million (2021/22).

Councillor Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said: “We are disappointed that maintenance funding for transport has been cut by the Government.

“Here in West Yorkshire, our combined allocation will fall 22% compared to last year, in a year which has seen unprecedented demand on local council budgets due to the pandemic, this will place further pressure on councils and their ability to maintain roads, ultimately affecting all road users.

“We have real concerns what this cut could mean for our communities. Local authorities rely on this funding to carry out vitally important road repairs and maintain the condition of their road networks, which affect all users, including pedestrians. Our councils are under a lot of pressure to tackle a backlog of road repairs, made worse by recent bad weather. The reductions will also impact on the maintenance of pavements, street lighting, bridges and drainage – these are all things that affect people’s day to day lives.

“Not only do these cuts risk the safety of our communities, but will also make it harder for local councils to maintain the condition of new and important road schemes. In particular, we have concerns around what these cuts could mean for the maintenance of cycling schemes across our five districts. In partnership with our local authorities, we have been consistently clear in our commitment to reducing the number of cars on our West Yorkshire roads, for a greener, cleaner future. We are bringing forward schemes to support public transport and cycling and walking. Cuts to transport maintenance will hamper local authority’s ability to maintain the condition of these positive schemes in the future.’

“We implore the Government to consider our concerns ahead of the upcoming budget next month.”