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IS £22m repair for Spur Road back on the cards?
8:56am Wednesday 13th February 2013 in News
BOURNEMOUTH’S “worn out” Spur Road could be repaired at last if a bid for government funding is successful.
Dorset County Council hopes £22million plans to repair the dual carriageway – one of the county’s busiest roads – will be approved.
Up to 60,000 vehicles use the road each day and the council hopes it will qualify for part of the government’s £170million Local Pinch Point Fund to remove bottlenecks in areas where traffic problems are impeding growth.
In order to qualify for funding, local authorities must pay at least 30 per cent of the cost, so Dorset plans to contribute £6.6million.
Highways chiefs know they are up against it to secure the bid.
The Department for Transport has already advised local authorities that there will be a presumption against bids over £10million, unless they are of “truly exceptional value.”
Most schemes are likely to fall into the category of small schemes, requiring funding of between £1million and £5million.
If funding is granted, the work must be completed within two years.
The six-mile stretch between Cooper Dean and Ashley Heath was due a major makeover in the autumn on 2010 but the government pulled the plug on funding at the last minute.
Funding was withdrawn despite the road being described as “worn out” by Dorset highways chiefs.
By then £1million had already been spent on preparatory work, including six months’ of clearing verges and removing rare sand lizards.
At the time the council considered ploughing ahead with the scheme using loans and grants but decided it was impossible due to budget cuts.
The Spur Road scheme is the number one priority in the funding bid but applications will also be made for two other areas.
Cllr Peter Finney, Dorset’s cabinet member for highways and transportation said: “If we get the funding it will prevent an awful lot of expenditure in a piecemeal fashion.
“We would have to repair it in patches which is more costly and causes more disruption.
“We hope to be able to do the work in one go and the A338 is our top priority.”