New investment in East Sussex roads to be decided

escc logoEXTRA investment of £15.7m this year, to help improve the condition of East Sussex’s roads and protect them for years ahead is being proposed by the county council.

The recommendation comes after cabinet members asked at the start of the year for detailed modelling of how extra investment could be most effective and, if agreed, would bring the council’s spending on highways this year to almost £34m.

Cabinet’s request followed one of the wettest winters in recent years, an example of how more extreme weather is causing roads across England to deteriorate faster.

At their meeting on Tuesday June 27, cabinet members will be asked to agree the additional spending of £5.6 million from reserves to pay for extra patching and drainage work, and to increase the capital programme by £5.1 million, funded through borrowing.

Cabinet will also be asked to agree a further £5 million for the capital programme, (subject to ratification by a full meeting of the council in July) to help with early improvements to make the road network more resilient.

The report to cabinet suggests the capital programme could be increased by £5.1m each year for the next 10 years and, on top of that, by an extra £5m in 2023-24 and 2024-25. That combined investment would move 40 more miles of roads into good condition and significantly reduce the proportion of roads in East Sussex needing repair.

Cabinet is being asked to approve the additional investment for 2023/24 at next Tuesday’s meeting. Decisions on future investment will be made during the council’s normal budget setting process, starting in the autumn.

Extra investment has already been made in the county’s highways after this was set as an area of priority. In 2022-23 an additional £8.9m was allocated, increasing the capital programme by £3.1m for 10 years and £5.8m which boosted the council’s patching programme. This led to an additional 730 sections of the road network being treated, funded 280 additional works to pavements, and repaired and maintained road markings, road signs and signposts across the county.

East Sussex County Council continues to lobby central Government for better and longer-term funding for road maintenance.

To view the report to Cabinet and to watch the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, June 27, visit: