Island Roads has thanked residents and businesses on the completion of the 2017 road improvement programme.
Each year, Island Roads ceases the vast majority of its resurfacing programme during the high-winter months because the cold temperatures, rain and high winds can all affect the materials being laid.
Island Roads staff will continue their maintenance functions and the winter maintenance teams including the gritting fleet have already been in action many times this year.
During 2017, the average condition of the network across all road types in all districts has been improved as per the requirements of the Highways PFI contract. To put that into context, around 117 kilometres of the network – roughly the equivalent of a road between Portsmouth and London – has been upgraded during 2017.
Completed schemes range from the resurfacing and enhancement of village centres such as the recent Avenue Road project in partnership with Freshwater Parish Council and the IW Council to the improvement of town centres such as the resurfacing of lower Newport High Street. Some of the busiest sections of the network including Medina Way and St Mary’s roundabout, Cowes Road, and Ryde Esplanade have all been upgraded during the year.
In addition, approximately 70 kilometres of footways have been improved along with around 65 structures – retaining walls and bridges – that support the network. There have been drainage schemes at locations including Steyne Road/Lane End, Bembridge and specialist reconstruction and/or geotechnical schemes at locations including Castle Court, Ventnor, Victoria Avenue, Shanklin and the Esplanade at Gurnard.
There has been a programme
to replace litter bins with upgraded dual use receptacles to help recycling in the main tourist towns while approximately 15 bus shelters have also been renewed.
Furthermore there has been a major programme to replace illuminated signs to ensure required national standards are met and some 600 illuminated bollards have been replaced with new reflective models to reduce energy consumption and assist with the Island’s Dark Skies aspirations.
Steve Ashman, Island Roads deputy service director, said: “A lot has been achieved in what has been another very busy year. We have, I believe, made significant progress in our ongoing work to transform our roads from what historically have been some of the worst in the country into some of the best.
“This scale and intensity of work just would not be possible without the support of residents and businesses and all of us at Island Roads really appreciate the understanding and co-operation we have received in 2017.”
Mr Ashman said: “Work does not stop in the winter months. Besides the ongoing maintenance programme, both planned and reactive, much work will be undertaken to plan the programme of highway improvement in 2018. This programme will be decided by many factors including the results of the regular surveys undertaken to assess the condition of the network.
“We will be able to say more about the 2018 activity early in the new year but it will be another ambitious programme that we are sure will make further tangible improvements to all those using the Island’s highways network.”