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Street signs and markings could fade away due to cuts
Road signs and faded street lines will not be replaced if planned town hall cuts get the go-ahead.
As part of Brighton and Hove City Council’s budget plans to save £17 million in the next financial year, highways and road maintenance will see a £655,000 reduction in funding.
Motoring lobbyists and opposition councillors have warned against the move saying it could put people’s health and safety at risk and adding there are legal question marks against the plans.
Council chiefs say tough decisions are required due to Government-imposed cuts.
They believe they could take money from other pots of funding to cover the shortfall if they need to.
Health and safety
Motoring lobbyist Steve Percy, who is part of the People’s Parking Protest, said: “I do not really want to see the libraries cut or public toilets shut but money has to come from somewhere.
“If you cut libraries people will get cross but if you cut roads maintenance people can get hurt. It’s a health and safety issue.”
Ian Davey, the council’s cabinet member for transport and public realm, said: “Previous administrations have not paid enough attention to roads, pavements or lighting, with a lack of capital investment and a piecemeal approach to repairs, as any pedestrian or road user will have noticed.
“The Green budget proposals take Brighton and Hove streets very seriously, doubling the previous administration’s plan by allocating £3.5 million to maintenance and capital investment, which means a programme of replacing street lights with lighting that is both better and more environmentally sound, instead of just mend and make do, and a programme of completely resurfacing some of the worst roads and pavements instead of just patching over potholes piecemeal.
Public budget papers claim the planned reductions from the roads maintenance budget will see deterioration of the highway.
They suggest funding for emergency work will be maintained but there will be no new or replacement street furniture, such as lampposts, traffic lights, bollards and benches, unless they are needed to protect the highway.
There will be no new road signs and no current signs will be replaced or maintained.
A further £120,000 in savings listed within the public papers will mean no new lines painted on roads while residents will be asked to pay for those drawn across driveways.
Conservative group leader Geoffrey Theobald described roads maintenance as “probably the most basic and fundamental of council services”.
He added: “If we get another cold snap this winter then we simply won’t have the resources to deal with it."
Labour and Co-op group leader Gill Mitchell said: “It is a false economy. If you do not keep roads to a certain level then it will end up costing more in emergency work."
Don't miss tomorrow's Argus for the impact the planned budget will have on waste and street cleaning services.
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