Local authorities across Wales will benefit from a new funding scheme to free up £170m in new money for local highway improvement schemes.
The Local Government Borrowing Initiative (LGBI) should result in up to £170m of additional capital funding being invested in highways’ enhancements over the coming three financial years.
Transport minister Carl Sargeant said: “The Local Government Borrowing Initiative will result in a significant increase in the ability of local authorities to fund major improvements to our highways by targeting the problems that exist in the road network.
“By freeing up this funding we will be able to improve the condition of our roads, reduce travel times and by reducing potholes increase safety for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
“This new investment will be providing the Welsh economy with a considerable and much needed boost in terms of jobs in the construction sector.”
Finance Minister Jane Hutt added: “By giving local authorities the opportunity to borrow funding to accelerate road improvement projects we are helping to create new job opportunities for local people as well as providing supply chain opportunities for local businesses.”
Cllr John Davies, WLGA Leader said: “The condition of the highway network is a top concern for residents and businesses, and an issue that impacts on the provision of all other services.
“Local authorities and WLGA have been in ongoing dialogue with Welsh Government over recent years seeking additional funding to improve the condition of the highway network.
“Until recently there has been a large gap between the amount of money needed to bring roads in Wales up to standard and the amount being spent each year.
“This new proposal draws on all the good practice seen across Wales and will enable a comprehensive approach across the whole of Wales on a scale far greater than has been possible before. It will allow significant progress to be made in improving the standard of our highways.”