The Government announced additional money for all councils in their budget to clear the backlog of maintenance works by local highways authorities.
Southend Council has been given £617,000 which will be used to fill the most serious potholes, give the High Street a mini-makeover, and resurface Western Esplanade and Leather Lane.
Cllr Andrew Moring, cabinet member for infrastructure, said: “I’m really pleased the Government recognised the need for this financial boost to clear the backlog of identified highway maintenance issues. As the majority of the money we have been allocated will go towards repairing the most serious potholes, hopefully drivers in the borough will soon see an improvement to local roads.”
The pothole repairs will take place across the whole of the borough and follows on from a concentrated effort between March and June 2018 to catch up on a backlog of repairs delayed by the snow and cold weather last winter. Earlier this year, Southend Council allocated an additional £100,000 to fund two rapid pothole repair teams, in addition to the council’s agreed £102,000 budget for road repairs, and £195,000 for pothole repairs over the next three years.
The work is also on top of a major resurfacing programme that has been taking place since the end of October, with 13 roads resurfaced over a five week period as part of ongoing improvement works to the borough’s roads. This work has included the resurfacing of Harcourt Avenue, Kings Road, Chelsea Avenue and part of London Road. The road resurfacing programme is developed through a prioritisation process, considering a range of factors including current condition, visual appearance, customer reports and maintenance history.
The High Street will also benefit from a mini-makeover between January and March 2019. The pavements between Southend Victoria and Pier Head have already been assessed, with problems identified, such as damaged or missing slabs, signs and posts.
Some of the slabs will be replaced, with every attempt made to make the new materials match the original as closely as possible.
Alison Dewey, Southend Business Improvement District (BID) Manager said: “It is great news to hear that the Council is investing this money to improve the town centre’s street scene. I am particularly pleased to hear that there’s going to be a full repair of the paving and that it will be sealed, as this will help to prevent any staining from spillages that can seep into the flagging and leave a permanent mark. The work will help to give the High Street a much cleaner appearance.”
She added: “The BID currently funds various streetscape improvements, such as the hanging baskets, colourful bunting and banners, so the Council’s new investment will complement our initiatives to make the town centre and seafront look brighter, cleaner and more welcoming.”