Monday, 21 March 2016 00:00

Council secures £24m for rural roads

Written by  Ruralcity Media

North Yorkshire County Council has successfully applied for £24m of government funding to maintain the county's rural roads.

Funding towards a £32m package follows an innovative bid by the council Council to the government's local growth fund.

It will support maintenance on rural roads feeding into the a number of market towns and other growth centres, including Malton, Selby, Northallerton and Thirsk.

The money will be provided over five years, from 2016/17 to 2020/21, with £5m available in each of the first four years and £4m in the final year.

Government funding will be supplemented by an additional £8m from the council's reserves, demonstrating the high priority the council gives to highway maintenance.

This builds on more than £14m of additional funding the council has invested in road maintenance over the last two years.

The county council has previously prioritised maintenance of busier A and B roads between market towns and major centres, which are now generally in a good condition.

More recently it shifted its focus to rural roads, where good connections between our towns and villages are also vital for the county's continued economic vitality.

North Yorkshire has a much higher percentage of rural roads than most areas.

Rural roads account for almost 75% of the county's road network, compared to 29% in a typical local authority area.

Councillor Chris Metcalfe, North Yorkshire's executive member for economic development, said good rural roads ensured the benefits of economic growth encompassed villages as well as towns.

"Maintenance schemes on our rural roads that connect to the main road network and growth centres is vital to sustain and encourage economic growth among rural businesses."

Over the five years of the package this additional funding will allow the County Council to carry out more than 600 additional maintenance schemes.

The aim is to cover nearly 500km of the county's most frequently used minor rural roads.

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