ESSEX County Council has pledged to invest in LED street lighting as part of £300million of spending on the road network.

The authority wants to invest the sum over the next three years, with £137million set aside in its budget for 2016/17.

The money will go towards improvements to road surfaces, lighting and pavements.

Rodney Bass, Tory councillor responsible for infrastructure, said the investment would add to improvements which are already taking place.

He said: “We know how important this is to people and to businesses and we intend to continue that trend, with our attention now shifting to tackling defects on urban and rural roads and estates, investing in better lighting and better footpaths.

“We will also be looking at investing in particular roads and bridges and also in LED lighting.

“Overall, the highways maintenance budget is increasing by over 30 per cent which is proof positive of our ambition to keep the quality of Essex’s road network up there with the best in the country.”

The council has already announced it intends to invest £8million to upgrade two major problem junctions on the A127.

It will upgrade the Rayleigh Weir junction by changing the traffic light system to improve traffic flow.

The project will also see extra lanes created and traffic lights improved around the Nevendon junction.

Eddie Johnson, Tory councillor responsible for highways delivery, added: “We have listened when local people have told us that cracks and holes in the roads and pavements matter.

“We have listened when business has told us that getting from A to B easily and quickly helps them to prosper and we have listened to the partners who have said that alongside the new homes and jobs we desperately need good infrastructure.”

Essex County Council’s budget for 2016/17 will be debated at a full council meeting on Tuesday.

The Tory administration wants to impose a 3.99 per cent council tax rise for the year.

John Spence, councillor responsible for finance, said: “The tough financial management we have exercised has enabled us to deliver a budget which we know will help to drive growth and the quality of life in our county.”