ROADS littered with potholes could be left to deteriorate further as the lockdown delays £9million worth of repairs planned for the town.

Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) plans to resurface around 92 Reading roads over this coming year will be delayed or reduced due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The council’s Policy Committee will vote on how to move forward with the potholes and road-resurfacing project at next Monday’s virtual Policy Committee on May 18, with four options on offer.

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Council officers have recommended ‘option one’, which would halve the spending this year (2020/21) to £1.5 million and reallocate the leftover funds to the following two years (2021-2023).

Preparation works for the road repair programme had been scheduled to begin in April but have been delayed by the increased number of parked cars on residential roads which are not moving, due to the lockdown.

Once it is known when the lockdown restrictions will be lifted or amended, the contractor will quickly be able to begin re-surfacing works, according to the council.

The council only has until the end of October before weather conditions deteriorate and, after that, work would only be able to re-start again in March 2021.

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A total of £10.4 million of repairs to road surfaces, pavements and footpaths is planned over the next three years and was approved last month by the chief executive in consultation with council leader Jason Brock.

This includes £1.4 million of Department for Transport funding, which must be spent this year and is not included in the vote next week.

Councillor Tony Page, lead member for strategic environment, planning and transport, said the programme is “Reading’s biggest ever investment in new road surfaces for residential streets”.

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RBC had planned to resurface around 92 roads in the first year of the programme, which is now likely to be reduced.

Here is the list of the 92 roads that had been set for a revamp this year.

As well as the option to reduce the works in year one, the other three options available to the council are delaying the programme by one year and:

  • Undertaking the works from 2021-2024
  • Delivering the project over two years in 2021/22 and 2022/23
  • Delivering a reduced set of works over two years in 2021/22 and 2022-2023

But council officers say these three options would likely see the expected improvement to residential roads reduced and further deterioration during the delay.