New funds cannot bypass local roads says Surrey chief

SURREY County Council has written to the Government’s Roads Minister calling for action to prevent the county’s roads missing out on a new highways fund.

John Furey, Surrey’s Cabinet Member for Highways, wrote to Andrew Jones MP after the county revealed a new dedicated roads fund was not set to be spent on any of the 3,300 miles of road managed by the county.

FEEL THE FUREY – Councillor John Furey
FEEL THE FUREY – Councillor John Furey

The new fund from Vehicle Excise Duty was announced by Chancellor George Osborne in his latest Budget, but the small print indicates the money will only be spent on motorways and major A-roads managed by Highways England, despite them only accounting for 100 miles of road in the county.

Councillor Furey argued that Surrey generates so much revenue for Whitehall that they should not be overlooked in any aspect of the Budget.

He said: “With the county’s drivers contributing £100 million in Vehicle Excise Duty every year and only getting £20m back to invest in our roads, it’s vital the minister takes action to ensure this new fund doesn’t bypass Surrey.

“Given Surrey’s contribution to the UK economy and the fact that Government funding for our roads is dropping by about £1m every year, my letter makes clear that a failure to change this proposal would not only let down Surrey residents and businesses but also threaten the financial recovery nationwide.”

Last month councillors pledged to build 819 pothole-proof roads in the county over the next three years.

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