Speech by Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, Executive Member for Highways and Transport, for the Budget:
I am pleased to, yet again, be able to announce a record programme for highways and transport in this year’s MTFP.
We recognise that congestion affects many people’s ability to move around the borough and are investing £36m in major new roads, cycleways and footpaths.
We have another £18m allocated to our congestion management programme over the next four years and have started making improvements to our intelligent traffic signals and signs and other anti-congestion measures.
We are increasing in the number of traffic sensitive streets which means that these roads can’t be dug up during rush hour which should ease issues.
We have a great record of providing new paths and cycleways to encourage alternative transport and have an unprecedented programme of £10m of cycleway and path improvements to help those who are able to get out of their cars, this includes work to link up Observer way with the Shinfield cycle network and a new Bader Way cycleway and bridge.
We are also working hard on the new Bus Service Improvement plan although bus usage is dramatically reduced since covid which makes service improvements very difficult to sustain.
We are investing another another £9.5m of capital next year in maintenance and improvements to current highways infrastructure – everything from drainage to resurfacing lighting and signals.
We also have allocated £2m to reactive maintenance such as pothole repairs next year.
We know that anti-social parking and resulting road safety issues are a real problem for residents and are increasing the number of parking officers to provide extra resource to be better able address those issues.
Finally in recognition of the Queens Jubilee we will be providing free residential street closures.