AN ISLE of Wight Councillor has called for 'more honesty' regarding the Highways PFI project — claiming it is unlikely the Island's roads will be resurfaced within the first seven years of the contract.

With just seven months of the core investment period remaining, Newport East Cllr Geoff Brodie said there were still 15 roads in his ward that needed resurfacing, some of which were in 'an appalling state.'

However, the Isle of Wight Council said road resurfacing and improvement works would continue over the life of the project.

Infrastructure and transport cabinet member, Cllr Ian Ward, said: “At March 2019 — six years into the 25 year Highways PFI project — 1,406 carriageway reconstruction and resurfacing schemes had been completed, representing 463 kilometres of highway. This is in addition to the many other aspects of the project.

“It is important to clarify the road resurfacing and renovation programme will not cease once we reach the end of the core investment period in April 2020. This work will continue and will include many roads currently in a state of poor repair."

Cllr Brodie said that when he voted for the Highways PFI, a decision he now regretted, it was on the basis that all roads would be improved and resurfaced by April 2020.

He said he understood Island Roads had started using a new assessment tool that grades roads as in a better condition than previously — enabling the contractor to delay improvement works until after the core investment period without being fined for non-compliance.

"We really need the Isle of Wight Council and Island Roads to be open and transparent about what is happening," said Cllr Brodie.

"Residents of wards like mine are expecting the roads to be resurfaced soon, but this clearly isn't going to happen in the near future.

"I feel misled about this contract and many of my residents feel misled. It is time for some honesty."

Cllr Ward said: "Although the plan was for all our roads to be resurfaced, this changed when government funding for the Highways PFI project was reduced by 30 per cent in 2010.

"We are currently in discussions with Island Roads over how things will continue to progress for the benefit of Island residents as we enter the next phases of the contract."

Following the seven-year core investment period, Island Roads is required to maintain the condition of the roads at, or above, the average level for the remainder of the 25-year project duration.

The council said roads that had deteriorated to lower scores would be brought back up to standard to ensure the overall average was maintained.