Surrey County Council wants money from the government’s new Roads Fund to be spent on local roads.
Fears were raised that more than 3,300 miles managed by the county will miss out on the fund from vehicle excise duty despite Surrey drivers contributing more than £100 million* through the tax every year and only around £20m coming back to the county council to manage its roads network.
The council believes this figure needs to double if it is going to be able to maintain and improve Surrey’s roads and sees the new fund as a solution.
But the small print of the Budget indicates that the new fund will only be spent on motorways and major A roads managed by Highways England, despite them accounting for just 100 miles of road in the county.
John Furey, cabinet member for highways, said: “If this isn’t changed it will mean that more than 3,300 miles of roads in Surrey won’t see an extra penny from this fund despite local drivers already contributing around £80m more every year in vehicle excise duty than they ever get back in funding for the county’s roads – the people of Surrey deserve better.
“Government funding for our roads is dropping by about £1m annually despite the number of miles driven on them every year rising by £100m since 2010. So far we’ve managed to cover this with savings – while also working on a five year programme to completely resurface 300 miles of road most in need of repair – but this can’t go on.”
* Calculated by multiplying Department for Transport figures for total number of vehicles registered in Surrey for 2014 (763,856) by the average vehicle excise duty charged per annum according to the Chancellor’s Budget speech.