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89 per cent of city's roads need attention
A WISH-LIST of roadworks projects in Oxford has grown to more than 1,400 because of a lack of funding, transport bosses have revealed.
Every year, the city council asks County Hall for money to repair roads across the city’s 232-mile network.
But because of what the city council claims are funding shortages, the list gets longer every year, with some projects dating as far back as 1994.
During 2011 to 2012, 18 schemes were completed.
A Freedom of Information request made by Britannia Rescue has shown that there are 1,439 road maintenance projects outstanding in the city, spanning 207 of the city’s 232 miles of roads – 89 per cent of the network.
The city’s most repaired road in the past five years is Turl Street, which has had 119 projects carried out on it during that time.
The figures mean the city has the fifth highest number of outstanding schemes, and the third biggest length of roads where works are due in the country.
Taxi driver Richard Barlow, 59, said: “It is surprising, but then again if they actually filled in potholes with something permanent rather than this stuff which washes away they would not have to repair them all the time.”
He said: “They sound like fairly arbitrary figures, and what I assume is it reflects as much as anything how good the council is at understanding what is expected of it.
“I think the council probably has a good record of what it needs to do, and it will probably do it as soon as it can get the money.
“Local authorities are struggling to do the long list of jobs they have in front of them, and the council is being realistic about what it needs to do.”
City council spokesman Louisa Dean explained that the figure was from a council “wish-list” of projects which it applied for funding for every year.
She said: “We submit a bid to the highway authority in December every year to request funding. The schemes are based on our assessment and allocated a priority.
“The bid, for example, for 2011-2012 was £8.2m and we subsequently received £1.5m, therefore, due to the lack of funding, schemes remain on the list from year to year.”
Ms Dean said the 119 projects in Turl Street included responses to safety defects such as pothole repairs, but she said that the road had since been completely resurfaced.
She added that numerous projects dated as far back as 1994, including plans for a footpath reconstruction in Osler Road.
Oxfordshire County Council spokesman Owen Morton said: “The city council receives a proportionate amount of money for road maintenance compared with other parts of Oxfordshire, and is responsible for deciding how and where that money is spent, as a result of a funding agreement the city council itself signed up to.”