Cllr Dave Hibbert Published: Monday, 16th December 2013

Oldham Council has given the green light for ambitious plans to provide a 24-hour repair promise on our ‘priority roads’.

At a Cabinet meeting tonight (December 16) members approved a fresh ‘value for money’ approach to improving key highways around Oldham town centre.

This is an initiative proposed and led by Leader of the Council, Jim McMahon, to ensure the priority network is fully repaired and refurbished, and keeping it that way with this 24-hour pledge.

In July 2013, a budget of just over £1.8million was approved to implement the Local Authority’s Gateway Corridor Improvement Programme.

Vital roads that emanate from Oldham Town Centre – identified as potential ‘Gateways or Corridors’ – will benefit from the programme.

Unity Partnership, who work closely with the Council, has created a five-year life cycle plan to achieve the improved standard required for the 24 Hour Repair Promise.

This plan looks at the deterioration rates of the highway and provides recommended treatment – whether it be fixing potholes or resurfacing.

Unity intends to develop this into a 20-year Life Cycle Plan to ensure the longest possible residual life for all the resurfaced roads – with an aim to streamlining this Borough-wide.

This would make use of the Department for Transport's highways maintenance efficiency programme (HMEP) toolkit – a planning tool that provides practical guidance on the most efficient ways to maintain our roads.

Councillor Dave Hibbert, Cabinet Member for Environment and Housing, said: “This programme will move away from a reactive maintenance approach to a much more proactive, planned and targeted approach.

“Oldham Council has invested £10 million over the last four years into repairing highways across the Borough and put in an additional £2million, which included purchasing new machines, to make repairs quicker, longer-lasting and less expensive than ever before.

“Our Highways team work seven days a week to keep the Borough moving and they work hard across Oldham’s 817 kilometres of carriageway.

“We have to initially prioritise out gateways and corridors as these are the busiest routes in, around and out of the Borough. We intend to extend this approach to other roads over time.

“We endeavour to provide value for money for our residents. Although we know the conditions of roads will inevitably vary across the network, this priority programme and our co-operative working with Unity Partnership will ensure we provide a more cost effective and high-quality outcome.”

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