Oxford roads set to benefit from new partnership

Roads in Oxford are set to benefit from a new partnership between Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council.

The two councils are looking to work together to maintain the city’s highways, pavements and cycle lanes in a partnership which will use County Council funds and City Council workers.

At the moment responsibility for maintaining roads in the city is split with the county council maintaining the strategic routes and the city council keeping the minor roads in order, with funding from the county.

Now it is proposed that the city council will act on the county council's behalf to assess and order repairs using their locally based team on a wide range of maintenance activities.

These will include fixing potholes, cleaning and repairing drainage gullies, replacing worn lines and damaged signs, and providing an emergency response to high priority problems when they arise. They will also carry out a wide range of planned maintenance as well as reactive work based on public reporting.

County Councillor Yvonne Constance, Cabinet Member for Environment and Economy, said: “The county council is very keen to get the best out of the limited resources we have available for fixing our roads and it makes sense to use a team that is based in the city to repair the city’s roads.

“By working in partnership we think that the city’s roads will benefit as the city have a depot and workers nearby meaning less travel is needed and more problems will be able to be fixed.

From April every problem reported through Fix My Street would go to the city council. They will then carry out an inspection and order a repair if one is necessary.

City Councillor Alex Hollingsworth, Board Member for Planning and Regulatory Services, said: "This new arrangement would see the city council working closely with the county council on the maintenance of Oxford's roads.

"We are looking forward to being able to provide an efficient and value for money service for residents.

“This would mean Oxford City Council would have greater involvement in prioritising work to better reflect local needs; and by sharing overheads with our existing responsibilities for non-adopted roads, car parks and hard landscaping we can offer Oxfordshire County Council and taxpayers better value for money. However we share the county council’s view that more money is still needed from the Government to help fix the roads.

"The city council has a tried and tested track record when it comes to maintaining parts of the highways network in the city. This new agreement will see a more seamless, simplified, delivery of highways services."