£90,000 for roads, but what will that pay for?

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A county councillor with a £90,000 pot of cash to spend on repairing Berkhamsted’s roads has been explaining how he decided on key projects.

Dr Ian Reay, who represents the town, has already allocated £50,000 worth of the budget.

There is room for an overspend, but he will have to hold onto £30,000 of the cash until after county council elections in May. If ousted, his replacement will choose where the remaining money goes.

So far, Dr Reay has set aside cash to resurface Park View Road at its junction with the High Street; Charles Street at its junctions with Kings Road, Kitsbury Road and Cross Oak Road; and the roads Water Lane, Mill Street and The Wilderness.

He said: “These roads are in a very bad state and a poor condition.

“It is not just that they have got potholes, because they can fit into a different budget.

“They are in a bad state of decay, but not so bad that they are dangerous.”

Potholes are repaired as and when they are reported, but the work approved by Dr Reay is due to begin when the weather improves in the spring.

The councillor was given a list of roads in need of repair by a highways engineer, but the total cost came to twice as much as what he had to spend.

If re-elected in May, Dr Reay plans to spend the remaining £30,000 resurfacing Chestnut Drive, the High Street junction with St John’s Well Lane, and Beech Drive – from Three Close Lane to Hill Top Road and at its junction with Woodlands Avenue. He would also repair walkways in Ravens Lane, Mill Street and Church Lane.

Spending on routine repairs to roads and pavements was traditionally determined by their age and use, but sometimes that left more pressing projects on hold.

To prevent this from happening, County Hall now gives £90,000 to councillors to spend in their own wards.