Lib Dems at Surrey County Council set out its proposal for a £26m (over 5 years) Road Safety Fund last week. Led by Group Leader Chris Botten, Lib Dem councillors had put together the alternative budget plan in response to the growing number of requests from the public to their Local or Joint Committees, for improvements to junctions, reductions in speed limits or the introduction of other road safety measures. These together with other outstanding local highway schemes amount to around £50m.
In a step meant to derail the amendment before the budget meeting today, the Tory administration informed councillors on Friday that they had decided to increase the amount of highway funding to local and joint committees, in order to reduce the backlog.
Chris Botten said “I am able to overcome my annoyance at this secretive move as long as residents benefit and road safety schemes are enacted in a timely way. The proof of the pudding will be in our having safer roads. I am glad we forced their hand.”
In seconding the proposal Cllr Will Forster explained:
“In my division, across my Borough and all over the county we have requests for road safety, yet this Council is unable and unwilling to take on these requests. The Council makes far too few road safety and transport improvements.
The Council’s commendable Your Fund Surrey was meant to be for local people to lodge requests for community projects, but it has in fact had lots of requests for the Council to invest in its statutory services like transport improvements.”