Raise your own funds for highways improvements

Ever thought you’d like to see improvements to local streets, and said to yourself: “We’d chip in towards that ourselves if we had the chance”? Actually, you can. The County Council, which administers all the roads, has a scheme called the Local Highways Improvement Initiative (LHI), whereby if a community group can raise 10% or more of the money for a project they want, the LHI fund may pay up to £10,000 to get it done.

There are loads of possible projects, with costs ranging from £20 for a simple speed limit roundel (you’d have to raise £2!) to hundreds of thousands of pounds for new junctions (sadly, with the grant limited to £10,000, you’d need to raise most of the money yourself). In between, there are ideas such as traffic islands, mini roundabouts, zebra crossings, resurfaced pavements, extra streetlights, new kerbs and more.

The County Council makes it quite clear that the more the community raises towards the project, the more chance the bid will be successful. You might think: “But aren’t we paying Council Tax for them to do all this anyway?”, but we have to be realistic: council funding has been slashed in recent years, and street maintenance and improvements have been hit like anything else.

Our County Councillor Amanda Taylor says that: “Some bids from this area have been awarded funding (in the past), even though we have yet to see the results”, so it’s worth having a think if there’s anything you’d like to see. The full council documentation is here, and if you’d like to take things further, your next port of call would probably be to email Amanda.

5 Replies to “Raise your own funds for highways improvements”

  1. I wonder how much a zebra crossing would cost? People have asked me if there could be one on Nightingale Avenue so people could cross the road more safely to get to the playground. I think it would also reduce the speed of some cars.

      1. £15,000 to £25,000, it says in the documentation, although additional lighting can be required which will increase the cost significantly. So I guess you’d need to raise maybe £3000 to £4000? Get knitting, walking, etc!

        1. The important thing is to describe the problem we are trying to solve rather than be too prescriptive about the solution. A zebra crossing may be one remedy, but isn’t always the right thing – ie it could give kids a false sense of security if the traffic still speeds. There are other ways of tackling speed, eg traffic calming, road narrowing, and the highways officers advise on the most appropriate solution. It could also be that there are other funding streams, eg Section 106 money.

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