A Challenging Year Ahead

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05 Jan 2011

The forthcoming year is going to bring many challenges to all of us, not least the local council who, facing unprecedented cuts, will have to make very difficult decisions. Hopefully mainstream services such as the care for the elderly, social services and education will not be too severely affected, but other services may be badly impacted upon.

One of those services could be the maintenance of our local roads, with the numbers of potholes and traffic jams soaring as a result of cuts to local transport. Ministers have released figures that show a 33% cut in the funding for road maintenance and local transport schemes in South Yorkshire next year. With cuts of this scale, it is very likely that road users here are going to see a noticeable drop in basic maintenance standards. More potholes, less gritting in bad weather, fewer road safety measures – all road users, whether in cars or buses, on foot or bike are going to suffer as a result of these cuts. There is no light at the end of the tunnel as the Government is planning to keep road maintenance funding at this level until at least 2015, allowing a huge backlog of repairs to build up.

The severe winters of the past couple of years have played havoc with road surfaces, and councils are already struggling to repair that damage. If we have further bad weather this winter, many of our road surfaces will start to resemble the face of the moon.