Category: Transport

Salopia Flog It! Shropshire Council to raise cash in a roundabout way (updated)

Update. The council’s cabinet has agreed to implement this scheme. The council’s cabinet will tomorrow (Wednesday) discuss a proposal to install advertisements roundabouts, boundary signs, lampposts and verges. This commercialisation of public space is predicted to generate £392,000 for the council over four years. The plans will also clutter the county with around 270 roadside signs, with the possibility of others to follow on bus shelters, bridges, central reservations, barriers, waste bins and street furniture, hanging baskets and flower beds, customer vehicles, customer buildings, car parks, statues and so the list goes on.

Ambitious £120 million dream for Shropshire Highways (updated)

Update: Shropshire Council has agreed to persue this strategy. Do highways chiefs dream of tarmac sheep? There is certainly a lot of dreaming going on in Shirehall. In the May elections, the Conservative group promised an extra £10 million a year for highways for the next four years. At the time, the council said it would find the extra money from grants, extra government funding, cuts to other budgets and the council’s diminishing reserves. The council has “found” this year’s £10 million by raiding the broadband, commercial and drainage budgets. Even so, ten million pounds proves to be little more than a drop of a rainwater in a flooded pothole. Highways chiefs estimate it will cost £600 million to bring Shropshire’s highways up to scratch. In your dreams on getting that much. Instead, Shropshire Council is aiming to “investigate a highway investment strategy of between £60m and £120m” over the next five years. That is still dreamy stuff in when local government finances are stretched and getting more so.

Shropshire Council is lagging other councils on highways fault reporting. The online reporting system is clunky. It can be difficult to describe where the fault is especially in rural areas where postcodes can cover such wide areas, they are next to useless. But now the council is adopting Fix My Street as its main portal for reporting highways problems. Fix My Street also covers a lot more than potholes. I would recommend this for reporting problems because it allows residents and councillors to see whether problems have been reported before, whether they have been fixed and whether there are more problems in some areas than others.

Decent highways for Shropshire? Are you kidding?

It’s Wimbledon. Surrounded by screens I am watching a couple of games at once. John McEnroe is commenting. He is famous of course for his comments on court. “You can’t be serious man. You cannot be serious!” This came to mind because of an open letter from Steve Charmley earlier in the week. He is the deputy leader of Shropshire Council who backed a £5 million annual cut from the highways budget under Peter Nutting’s leadership. Now he has nothing but good news about highways. Our roads are to be manicured as perfectly as the lawn of Centre Court. There will be more money and better and longer lasting repairs. We have been promised this before. Shropshire Council’s leadership has rarely delivered on highways promises. Can Charmley deliver? Is he serious?

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