Buckinghamshire County Council leader Martin Tett has called on the Government to bring forward money earmarked for future road repairs, as authorities across the South East are ready to spend it now.
In a letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, Mr Tett says councils are ‘shovel ready’ now to get going with hundreds of repair schemes to help improve roads and boost economic development.
Poor quality roads are estimated to cost small businesses some £5 billion a year across the country.
Mr Tett says: “Instead of roads being a liability, we must see them as our country’s number one piece of infrastructure and a lifeline particularly for our businesses and for our overall economic recovery.
“We welcome the Chancellor’s recent Spending Review announcements about a £6 billion investment in road repairs from 2015 onwards.
“However, our roads simply can’t wait a further two years. We in local government are ready to go, so I and my South East colleagues are calling on the Government to release money earlier rather than later.
“I’m convinced that earlier investment in roads will kick-start the economic growth needed to pull our nation out of this period of austerity.”
The letter to the Secretary of State has been co-signed by South East England Councils and the South East Strategic Leaders organisations which represent all types of Councils across the South East.
Mr Tett is also vice chairman of the group South East Strategic Leaders.