Manchester City Council has announced proposals to invest an additional £100m into road maintenance and pothole repairs over the next five years.
The majority of the funding, £80m, will be devoted to a programme of resurfacing to tackle potholes, with £20m to support other road and maintenance schemes.
This comes on top of £2m a year being added to the council’s highways budget, which was initially a one-off in the budget for 2016-17 but has now been made permanent.
Cllr Rosa Battle, executive member for the environment, said: “Manchester residents have told us that improvements to the city’s roads are among their top priorities, which is why we are taking comprehensive action to ensure their condition gets better and stays better.
“We will ensure this work is phased over a period of time to start delivering improvements as soon as possible while minimising disruption. This is about making things better for drivers.”
The investment is proposed as part of the council’s Capital Programme. Of the £100m, £19m comes from expected Planned Highways Maintenance grant funding received from the Government, with the remainder from long-term borrowing.
The investments scheduled for highways under the Capital Programme, totalling £135.1m which includes the £100m additional funding as well as other scheduled schemes, is as follows:
Currently, the council spends £14m a year on Manchester’s roads, £12m of which is spent on highways and £2m on footways.
Around 5% of Manchester’s roads are currently categorised as being in need of priority resurfacing work. The council estimates that without action this figure could rise to as much as 62% within five years.
Reactive maintenance currently costs the council £3m annually, a figure estimated to rise to £7m a year by 2021 without action. The council claims the proposed investment programme would eventually halve the pothole repair bill to around £1.5m a year.
The full details of the programme are being developed and are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
If agreed, work to secure a contractor to carry out the schemes will begin with the first improvements works expected to start later this year.