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Bedfordshire 'bitterly disappointed' over road maintenance cuts

Bedfordshire County Council expressed its frustration today after government cut £1.5m from next year's funding allocation for repair of Bedfordshire's roads.
The funding cuts were announced as part of the local transport funding settlements which will see £1.25bn distributed nationally, including £683M for highways capital maintenance and £571M for smaller transport improvement schemes.Funding was allocated on the basis of the second round of Local Transport Plans submitted in March 2006. Reactions from authorities were mixed. Bedfordshire was particularly disappointed. 'Despite assessing the County Council's performance over the last 5 years as 'good'. Bedfordshire County Council will receive £4.5m compared with £6m that it received in 2006/07,' said a spokesman.Councillor Tom Wootton,who is Bedfordshire's Executive member for Highways and Waste said: 'I fail to understand how the government can praise Bedfordshire County Council for the quality of our road repairs and dealing with the road maintenance backlog. Then on the other hand, they cut our road repairs funding for next year. Our residents tell us that their top priority is decent roads. I'm bitterly disappointed at this decision by the Government. I'm very concerned that our progress to further improve road conditions across the county is threatened and I'll be seeking answers from Westminster.'

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