Highways could be in line for £10,000 per councillor for roadworks
HIGHWAYS across the borough could be in line for a makeover if plans to give each county councillor £10,000 to spend in their area are approved.
Gloucestershire County Council will decide on Wednesday whether to approve a proposal to provide each councillor with a pot of money to spend on improving roads, pavements and footpaths in their ward.
The Highways Local initiative, which is a £1.16m two-year pilot scheme, will see councillors talking to people in their community and highways managers to decide what needs improving.
Leader of the council, Councillor Mark Hawthorne, helped develop the scheme.
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He said: "For some time now we've been looking at ways to give local people more power and more choice over how they receive services.
"County councillors are our closest link to these communities so it makes sense for them to be more involved and to tell us where this money should be spent."
Liberal Democrat Councillor Suzanne Williams said she believed £10,000 would not be enough to meet the needs in her ward, Springbank.
She said: "Although it sounds like a lot of money, when it comes down to it, it will be eaten up very quickly.
"There are things like resurfacing Kingsmead Road, which we have been raising with the council for a number of years.
"There are potholes and all sorts down there. It's a complete mess.
"If the council comes back and says that we have to use this £10,000 for that instead of general highways money, it's going to be all used up there."
Councillor Simon Wheeler (LD), who represents Hester's Way and Up Hatherley, felt giving £10,000 to each councillor was a flawed plan, as some areas needed more improvements than others.
He said: "There might be areas that don't need jobs done as much as other areas, therefore our £10,000 would go nowhere, whereas out in the Cotswolds, for instance, their £10,000 is surplus and they might spend it on jobs which are not an overall priority."
Mr Wheeler said the £10,000 would be useful in Hester's Way to repair footpaths on roads on the east side of Princess Elizabeth Way.
The £1.16m for the project will come from the council's transformation reserve, which was allocated for changing business practices to make long-term savings.
If the pilot was successful and the scheme was continued, it would be paid for as part of the normal highways budget.
WHAT WILL £10K BUY?
Resurfacing works such as filling potholes or covering up unsightly utility works can cost £6,000 per day for 250sq m.
Warning signs for speeding or humps at £500 each. Illuminate it and the price is £1,500.
Installing 50-55 metres of anti-skid coloured surfacing at pedestrian crossings or junctions would cost in the region of £5,000 to £10,000.
Vehicle-activated signs which flash with a warning to drivers about the speed limit cost between £5,000 and £10,000, with the power source being the main cost factor.
A set of two speed cushions can cost £3,500.
A pedestrian refuge island with no associated carriageway widening may cost between £5,000 and £10,000. However, widening the road to accommodate a refuge could increase costs to around £30,000.
One section of pedestrian guardrails at 2m in length costs £590
A traffic regulation order to change a speed limit or make a road one way, for example, can be pricey at between £3,000 and £10,000.
Costs for bollards range from £250 to £500 per bollard.
Need a dropped kerb for a wheelchair or buggy? They typically range from £1,500 to £6,000 a set; dropped kerbs opposite one another.
Tactile paving at pedestrian crossings costs from £2,500 to £3,000 a set (tactile paving opposite one another).
Chicanes to slow traffic cost between £5,000 and £10,000 depending on the road
Hand salt spreader for pavements once they have been cleared of snow – £101 each
Weed spraying at £420 per day for the labour costs
Grass cutting comes in at £30 per kilometre