‘No money in kitty’ for Blaenau Gwent road improvements
Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter
There is no money in the kitty to do any improvement works on the roads in Blaenau Gwent this financial year.
At a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Place Scrutiny Committee, councillors will look at the work done over the last five years of the Highway Capital Works Programme.
Head of community services, Clive Rogers will also outline a list of places where potential work could take place this financial year, if money is found for schemes.
But for the moment, doing no new work on roads in the county borough due to the lack of funding is the council’s “preferred option.”
Mr Rogers said: “This is recommended since there is no capital funding currently available or any indication that Wales Government will provide specific capital grants in future.
“In accordance with the HAMP (Highways Asset Management Plan) with its identified priorities and risks to the Blaenau Gwent highways network, it is proposed that should funding be made available, any new 2022/23
programme will continue to pay due attention to high priority works to the network whilst retaining a focus around improving the residential/ unclassified network.
“In the event that funding does become available the following options are proposed.”
Estimated to cost a total of £500,000, Mr Rogers says that road resurfacing work could be done at:
- The A467 Warm Turn carriageway
- The top road at Tafarnaubach Industrial estate
- Blaenant Industrial Estate roundabout
- Big Arch/Steelworks Road/General Offices
- A4046 – Waun-Y-Pound Road, Ebbw Vale
- College Road, Ebbw Vale
For a further £500,000, Mr Rogers says that work on five residential roads would be a priority, as well as new crash barriers, road markings, signs and bollards, speed humps and traffic order reviews.
Mr Rogers said that these options “may vary subject to the level of available funding.”
From 2017 to 2022 a total of £4.75 million was spent on the road network in Blaenau Gwent.
This funding came in annual grants from the Welsh Government and £2.115 million from Blaenau Gwent in the form of a long-term loan.
But no grant from the Welsh Government for road works has arrived this year.
Last year the council paid £317,000 from its General Reserve budget to do extra patching works across all council wards in Blaenau Gwent.
This targeted around 400 square metres of highways repairs on residential roads.
As part of the programme of work from 2017 to 2022, 103 residential highways were resurfaced along with priority works to the A and B classified road network.
According to the report the overall percentage of poor condition unclassified roads before the programme started was 17 per cent.
As a result of the work over the five-year period this has dropped to 11.4 per cent.
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First question: How much is the annual cost of wages including pension contributions, pensions currently being paid out, expenses?Second question: How many manual workers and how many pen pushers?
If the people of this area care to take quick look at current and completed infrastructure projects of the past few years, they will notice a little EU flag on signage. With a large majority of people voting for Brexit in the area, they do not seem that worried about new or usable infrastructure in the area. You get what you vote for. They could always ask for money from the levelling up fund .