Almost £2million is being invested by North Tyneside Council in footpath improvements after it was made a priority by Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn.
An increased commitment to improving footpaths across the borough is a key objective within the local authority’s new 15-year plan to maintain North Tyneside’s highway network.
And in support of the priority, £1.9million is being spent on improving footpaths in the borough this financial year.
This includes an additional £400,000 that will focus on areas such as town centres and key routes to and from North Tyneside Living older people’s accommodation schemes.
The Highway Asset Management Plan (HAMP) 2017-2032 sets outs the council’s approach to maintaining its highways and infrastructure in the most effective way.
It was approved at a meeting of Cabinet last night (September 11) and aims to build on the progress of the council’s first HAMP, which covered the period 2012 to 2017.
The new HAMP was developed by North Tyneside Council in partnership with Capita, which delivers engineering services for the local authority.
North Tyneside Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “I welcome this HAMP as it sets the financial framework that enables us to invest in the footpath network which is a key priority residents have asked us to focus on.
“I am confident we are putting in place the plans and procedures to see a year on year improvement to our footpath network.”
Cllr John Harrison, cabinet member for Housing and Transport, said: “This is an important plan that sets out our future approach to maintaining our highways and infrastructure.
“Our first such plan has resulted in an improved highway network but we needed to update it.
“The new plan has a number of key policy objectives, including a commitment to improve footways across the borough, which has been identified as being particularly important to residents.”
The Council’s Transport Strategy 2017-2032 sets out the overall vision for transport in North Tyneside. It contains a commitment to have a HAMP in order to ensure a well-managed highway network.
Since the introduction of the council’s first HAMP there have been a number of changes in highways legislation, best practice and funding opportunities.
This includes the Department for Transport’s (DfT) creating an Incentive Fund that rewards local authorities that demonstrate they are delivering value for money in carrying out cost effective improvements.
In support of this, the HAMP 2017-2032 enables the council to manage its highway infrastructure through long term planning, ensuring that standards are defined and achievable for available budgets.