By Harriet Ernstsons Monday 16 September 2013 Updated: 18/09 13:47
BRINGING Worcestershire roads up to scratch could cost hundreds of millions of pounds, a councillor has warned.
Coun Peter McDonald, the Labour Group leader on Worcestershire County Council, spoke out after shocking statistics showed more than half of residents - 53 per cent - were unhappy with the state of the highways.
"The situation of the roads is so bad now it is estimated it would cost over £8million just to bring them up to scratch.
"The county has been cutting back on services at a rate £20million-a-year for the last few years so there is little likelihood of things improving.
"Side roads are being neglected as the county concentrates on A roads because of the continuing cutbacks."
And, he added, he was yet to meet a resident who was satisfied with the state of the roads in Worcestershire.
"A day never goes by without someone complaining," he said.
Highways manager Jon Fraser said the worst roads were resurfaced first, with priority also given to the busiest highways in the county.
“I don’t know what these conditions are like relative to the rest of the county but I will get the area looked at.
“With discussions with county councillors, the future programme will be formed.
“We don’t have a bottomless pit and are constrained by funding but we generally look to do the worst first.”
Plans were outlined to set up focus groups in a bid to improve residents’ views of the highways at a meeting of the county council’s economy, environment and communities overview scrutiny panel.
David Onions, corporate business intelligence and performance manager, said: “If there is a view that Worcestershire’s roads are relatively awful then based on the information that exists that is not the case.
“Across the county we are looking for approximately 50 or 60 people to take part in what will be detailed and bold discussions about the perception of the county’s roads.
“But we want to do this in a real objective manner where we can engage people’s views.”
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