The most high profile element of our work is road and footway resurfacing, which is also the biggest part of our capital spend, with over £20 million budgeted across the county this year. Over 100 road resurfacing and 18 footway resurfacing schemes are planned for 2018-19, as part of a works programme designed by TfB in collaboration with local County Councillors.
When roads have been chosen for resurfacing they are prioritised and the appropriate treatment is chosen – there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to road surfacing, with several options available to extend the life of a road. Every Friday, we release a programme of works around the county for the upcoming week, which can be found here on the County Council website, as can the details about the different types of road surfacing we use. Since April, eight major surfacing schemes have already been completed in Buckinghamshire, equating to an area of over 16,000m².
A further £2.78M has been invested in a ‘plane and patch’ programme, where smaller areas of damaged road surface are cut out and resurfaced. We are using this technique to deal with the significant deterioration of Buckinghamshire’s roads that occurred last winter. Some highly visible and longstanding areas of concern have been addressed quickly and effectively through this approach and by the end of June, approx. 62,000 m² of plane and patch had already been carried out across the county.
This year in excess of £1 million will be invested on improvements to various structures across the county, including bridges, subways, parapets, and monuments. This work is undertaken by a combination of in-house specialists and skilled contractors, particularly for the works requiring specialist knowledge such as for listed historic structures, like the Marlow Obelisk, which will undergo renovation works later this year. Other structures projects for the coming year include a footbridge in Buckingham and a monument in Thornborough.
The countywide drainage improvement programme creates sustainable, long term solutions to some of the more significant drainage issues across the county. Where road surface water and ineffective drainage are an issue a solution is designed and built by a team of drainage specialists. This usually includes installing new pipework and soakaways, improving ditch capacity, and refurbishing existing drainage systems to increase capacity. £1 million has been allocated for the 2018-19 drainage programme, and will include over 30 sites, eleven of which have already been completed. You can read about how drainage improvements were made in Buckinghamshire last year here, and see the full list of planned works for 2018-19 on the County Council website.
‘Street lighting’ actually refers not just to conventional streetlights but to all road side illuminated signs and bollards, as well as lighting in subways, and all the associated cabling. This year over £2.5 million will be spent on major street lighting works, which includes replacing over 500 streetlight columns, and continuing the countywide programme to replace all old style sodium lamps with more modern and efficient LED units. Over the last six years almost 15,000 LED conversions have been completed in Buckinghamshire, with over 3,200 old style lanterns expected to be replaced this coming year.