roads and Potholes - South Crofts, Nantwich - March 2021 (1)

A highways boss at Cheshire East Council says there is a £200 million backlog of road repairs because of “inadequate” government funding, writes Belinda Ryan.

And Cllr Craig Browne claims an extra £110m given to them by Rishi Sunak over the next 10 years won’t resolve the problem.

Cllr Browne, chair of Cheshire East’s highways and transport committee, was speaking after Tatton MP Esther McVey (Con) said there was “absolutely no excuse” for road repairs not to be done given the extra money being awarded to local councils by government.

According to Department of Transport figures, Cheshire East stands to get £110.7m by 2033/34, with £1.658m of that coming this financial year and the same amount the following year.

Ms McVey said: “Given the size of this investment and the fact it is additional money, there is absolutely no excuse for repairs not to be carried out.”

But Cllr Browne (Alderley Edge, Ind) told the Local Democracy Reporting Service this week that her comments show a “lack of understanding of the scale of the problem”.

Cllr Browne said: “In Cheshire East, we are responsible for some 2,700km of road network and 2,100km of footpaths.

“The estimated replacement cost of that network, using the government’s approved calculation, is £6bn.”

He said in 2020/21, the government slashed Cheshire East’s road repairs grant by £4m to about £15m per year.

“Our funding remained at £15m per year in 2021/22, 2022/23 and 2023/24, despite the fact that construction inflation added between 25-30% to the costs of road repairs over the same period,” added Cllr Browne.

“The announcement that Cheshire East Council will now receive an extra £1.6m in each of the next two years, as part of an investment package of £110m over the next 10 years, is welcome.

“However, it is wholly inadequate when seen in the context of the costs of repairing 2,700km of network, fails to recognise the impact that construction inflation has had over the last few years and doesn’t even take us back to the level of funding we were receiving for road repairs in 2006.

“Over that period, due to wholly inadequate funding from a variety of governments, the extent of the backlog of repairs in Cheshire East now totals £200m.

“Therefore, an investment of £110m over the next 10 years will not resolve the problem and for the MP to suggest that it will, illustrates a lack of understanding of the scale of the problem.”


  1. Cheshire East Council inflict more damaged to the roads by not clearing roadside. drains and galleys. The water lies on the road surface and at this time of year it freezes causing the road surface to break up along with the pounding it takes from the HGV’S.Also they have a stupid policy that they only repair pot holes of a certain size, they leave the smaller pot holes which in a matter of days become big ones, so they have to make return journey to fill the pot holes they originally left.Cheshire East just waste council tax payers money. It is about time they were held accountable. The money these councillors claim in expenses is disgusting.

  2. Think he needs to look at productivity levels of the highway’s maintenance teams and look at reducing the amount of time spent leaning on spades

  3. Council Tax is not fit for purpose. Its time it was replaced with a per person local income tax

  4. Chris Moorhouse says:

    Our roads are bad. This is the person who said that the Intelligent Traffic light system installed at several junction on Nantwich Road during summer and the chaos it caused, would ease the traffic congestion. Since completion the queues have got longer and on many occasions only 3 or 4 cars are getting through the lights. The upside is you don’t hit the pot holes as you are not moving. Can you believe what we are being told?

  5. Road engineer says:

    Poor planning. This could have been avoided by better planning and preventitive maintainece being undertaken rather then pursuing woke agendas and diverting monies away from the function of road maintenance

  6. Chris Moorhouse says:

    Can you trust him. In summer, he said the new Intelligent Traffic Lights on Nantwich Road would speed up the movement. Since they became operational long queues have been the norm. Not just on Nantwich Road but the feeders, Mill Street, Edelston Road etc. In many instances only 3 or 4 cars are getting through before the lights change. Can he explain?

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