Beds, Herts & Bucks

Milton Keynes Council borrows £50m for road repair programme

A Buckinghamshire council is to borrow £50m to invest in a town's "decaying" roads and pavements.

Milton Keynes Council approved the plan which includes over £21m for road repairs, £14m for bridges and over £7m restoring footpaths.

The council said it is more cost effective to make full scale upgrades to the infrastructure rather than "minor maintenance".

The money is expected to hit the budget in the 2014/15 financial year.

Council leader Andrew Geary said: "The decaying infrastructure needs investment and at the moment we are spending a lot of money every year doing minor maintenance on roads when actually what is needed is a far more fundamental repair.

"The one thing we will not do is compromise road safety and roads that fall into disrepair are a real hazard."

The higher up front cost will be financed by setting aside a sum of money for the next four years which it will be put towards financing a loan to be repaid with an annual interest rate of 4.5%.

"This year we put £1m into a fund and we will continue to do so to build up a reserve against which we can borrow," said Mr Geary.

"The borrowing will be more than offset by the fact that the minor road repairs that we are having to do at the moment just to keep up, won't actually need doing."

The work is due to be completed over the next seven years.

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