Improving our roads

Road improvements would stretch from London to Land’s End

John Furey

The first year of Surrey County Council’s new highways contract saw almost 300 miles of road resurfaced or repaired, which is further than driving the distance from London to Land’s End.

Last April, the county council drove a hard bargain when it signed a series of contracts with companies to improve and maintain Surrey’s roads. The largest of these was with May Gurney for a £60 million, six-year deal, which represents a £4.1 million annual saving on the previous highways contract.

Since then a total of 611 projects have been carried out. These included the resurfacing of a 1.2 mile stretch of the A24 Horsham Road at Beare Green, which saw workers grafting overnight for three weeks straight.

Despite technical challenges, the highways team was able to keep the A24 open throughout to avoid motorists having to take a 35 mile diversion.

John Furey, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, said: “Surrey’s roads are the fourth busiest in Britain and are under tremendous strain. Maintaining and improving them is a massive operation and we have seen some real progress this year.

“Our aim is to provide the highest quality roads we can at the very best value for money. The contract with May Gurney is saving taxpayers £4.1 million a year while providing faster and higher quality road improvements. ”

Throughout the past year, 19 traffic light junctions have been completely refurbished including the Meadows Gyratory in Camberley, which is the largest and most complex in the county. A total of 14 pedestrian crossings have also been refurbished.

With an eye on the future, the county council is exploring the benefits of replacing its current annual road maintenance programme with a five-year plan. This long-term approach would reduce costs through the bulk buying of materials and better coordination of road works.

It would provide better value for money, higher quality work and could substantially increase the number of road improvement schemes taking place on Surrey’s roads.

ENDS

Media requiring more information can contact Surrey County Council senior media relations officer James Oxley at james.oxley@surreycc.gov.uk.

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