Funding Decision On Hold

The government say they won't make a decision on whether to give Dorset county council £23 million to renew the Spur road until after its spending review this autumn.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has issued guidance to local authorities about the Government’s position on major transport schemes.

It said the Government’s most urgent priority is to tackle the UK’s debt problem.

Writing to the county council, the DfT said that until the spending review is complete it will not be in a position to make a decision on the request for funding for the A338 Bournemouth Spur Road major maintenance scheme.

Dorset County Council submitted its business case for the A338 in October, the scheme had already been agreed at the regional level with a requirement that work should start in 2010.

Between November 2009 and March 2010, the county council undertook essential preparation works on the verges adjacent to the Spur Road to enable the scheme to keep to its tight schedule once approved.

The road was built around 40 years ago and is costing counils here £1 million a year to repair.

Dorset County Council’s cabinet member for transport, Cllr Peter Finney, said:

"Given that this is the busiest route in the county, we are extremely dismayed with the delay but will work to press the Department for Transport for future funding. I do not relish the councils spending an extra £1 million a year on ongoing maintenance when the road requires a major refurbishment, which will save us money in the long run.

"We share the frustration of road users who are going to experience inconvenience over a much longer time frame than if we had been able to undertake these essential works."

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