Council to abandon roads after flooding
Severely damaged roads across Devon may have to be "downgraded or abandoned" after flooding wreaked havoc with the county's huge transport network.
The destruction caused by last year's major flooding would cost £18million to fix and the effects will be felt for four years, senior councillors heard yesterday.
The 8,000-mile highway network, the biggest of any authority in the country, needs £62 million a year just to remain as it is.
But with the budget for the current financial year standing at £39 million, county councillors say the need for more Government investment in is even more urgent.
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Councillor Stuart Hughes, cabinet member for highway maintenance and flood prevention, said: "Unfortunately it will take time to restore our roads so it's correct to prioritise this backlog so that we can address the roads with most impact first.
"Abandoning a road will only be considered in exceptional circumstances but it must be an option to make the best use of resources."
The choice of where to begin will be based on factors including traffic volumes, category of road, length of diversion, cost of deterioration and access for communities, a council spokesman added.