A £9 million street repair plan has been scaled back this year due to the coronavirus crisis, with a new programme approved last night.

Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) plans to resurface 92 Reading roads and pavements have been pushed back due the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Just 50 roads are now set to be re-surfaced this year, with councillors approving the plans at last night’s Policy Committee (May 18).

Councilllors agreed with officers’ recommendation to halve the spending this year (2020/21) to £1.5 million and reallocate the leftover funds to the following two years.

Council leader Jason Brock said: “This is something that really matters to people – it affects the way people perceive and use their environment.

“It is very important that we are able to move forward with this scheme, albeit amended with the current circumstances.”

The £9million works will focus on small, residential roads, with separate £1.4million Department for Transport funds to be spent on fixing potholes on major streets such as Oxford Road and Northumberland Avenue.

In the council’s most recent resident’s survey, 58per cent of people said their number one priority for improvements is better road surfaces.

Meanwhile, the council has rapidly moved forward with plans to re-allocate roads for cyclists and walking, following government guidance issued last week.

Why have the works been delayed?

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.

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

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

A new list of prioritised roads is being developed and should be published within the next few weeks, according to Cllr Tony Page, lead member for Environment, Planning and Transport.

Have your say – Council Q&A

If you want to have your say on transport plans in the town, the council is holding a Youtube Q&A session at 6pm on Tuesday, May 26.

You can ask questions by tagging @readingcouncil on on Facebook or Twitter, using the hashtag #AskTransportRDG or emailing transport@reading.gov.uk and adding #AskTransportRDG in the subject line.

You can also respond to the consultation here until August 30.