Miles of drought-damaged Fenland roads will be repaired thanks to £3.5 million of new Government funding.
The money has been awarded to Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council as part of a national scheme which has seen £75 million handed out across the country from the Department for Transport.
In the Fens, the money will be used to repair 65.6km of drought damaged fen roads across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
The investment will enable the use of innovative methods to maintain fen roads and enhance the resilience of the rural road network against future weather events.
Councillor Peter Hiller, Cabinet Member for Housing, Neighbourhoods and Planning at Peterborough City Council, said: “We continue to spend money each year making sure our roads are as good as possible, but with a limited budget the deterioration of the network has at times outpaced our renewal programme.
“This additional money from the government, which we bid for with our partners at the county council, will help us to turn that on its head and invest more in repairing our drought damaged roads using the latest technology.
“A good road network is essential to our aspiration to see the city continue to grow, attracting new investment, businesses and residents. This extra money will allow us to invest even further in our roads and make long-term repairs now which will save us money in the long run and reduce disruption for residents.”
North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara wrote in strong support of the bid from the two councils, which will address the problem of fen roads being at greater risk of deterioration due to their construction on fen soil that is prone to subsidence.
Mr Vara said: “This is excellent news and I am very pleased that the Government has backed the Council’s scheme for fen roads with significant funding.
“The roads provide vital vehicular access for many communities and their improved condition will ensure safer and better travel for motorists.
“The Council’s bid was one of many and it is encouraging to see that the Government has recognised our local need and provided the necessary funds.”
Cambridgeshire County Council’s Chair of the Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Mathew Shuter said: “We’re really pleased our joint bid with Peterborough City Council for funding from the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Challenge Fund has been successful.
“We will receive £3.5million towards a programme of work to repair roads that have been affected by extreme weather conditions across fenland areas in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
“This funding will mean a long-term approach to maintenance of these roads, preventing the need for costly, reactive repairs and repeated disruption to drivers.”
Transport Minister Jesse Norman said: “We are taking the big decisions for Britain’s future by investing in the infrastructure the country needs and ensuring motorists have the well maintained roads they expect and deserve.
“This investment will enable councils to repair roads and key infrastructure like bridges – boosting reliability on our roads so people can stay connected with family, friends and employment, while also keeping businesses connected with customers.
“Most of the schemes will be delivered within the next twelve months, so many drivers will see an immediate impact.”