A report by the AA (Automobile Association) says that North Yorkshire County Council cut its highways budget by £6.2m in 2016/17, a reduction that is the highest of any local authority outside of London.
The report indicates:
- 62% of local authorities have reduced their expenditure on services such as road maintenance, street lights and school crossing patrols since 2016/17
- More than 200 councils are seeking to increase their parking income by raising fees for on and off street parking and residential permit schemes
North Yorkshire County Council however refutes the report.
AA president Edmund King, AA president said:
It is clear that local authority budgets are being squeezed and highways budgets are almost the first in line to be cut. Drivers will be frustrated that in many councils the additional income from increased parking charges won’t be reinvested in improving the state of local roads. Far too often drivers are viewed by every level of government as wallets on wheels. We think it is time to redress the balance and drivers get the investment needed to bring our roads back up to scratch.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Highways said:
The AA has used a Government return that does not reflect spending in cash terms. If the AA had checked with us we could have shown them how we have increased spending, before naming us in this inaccurate way.
We have maintained our roads maintenance spending and in fact we have increased our expenditure on the network in 16/17 beyond that which we had initially budgeted for.
In addition we have also targeted preventative capital repairs, increasing expenditure in these areas in order to maximise efficiency and minimise costly reactive revenue maintenance.