Government cash boost to fix potholes
Millions of potholes in England will be fixed after the government announced a funding boost for English councils.
In good news for motorists, cyclists and other road users, some £168 million will be shared between 148 councils to help fix three million potholes by March 2015.
In recent years, more and more motorists have had their car damaged by hitting potholes, causing drivers to fork-out cash to get their vehicle repaired.
As part of the funding, local authorities will have to publish monthly progress reports on how many potholes they have repaired.
More cash will be given to three authorities that have already demonstrated good practice in getting to grips with their pothole problem - Northamptonshire, Lancashire and Hampshire.
The money was first announced by chancellor George Osborne in March's budget, and is separate from the £183 million allocated to English councils in March to help repair roads damaged by the severe, wet winter weather.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "Potholes are the bane of all our lives and the funding announced today is an important step in ridding our roads of this menace.
"But it is only one part of a massive programme of investment to get our country up to speed as part of this government's long-term economic plan. By building, repairing and renewing our key infrastructure we will ensure the future growth and prosperity of this country."
President of the AA Edmund King welcomed the funding news but warned that potholes were not the only problem facing the country's roads.
"Potholes in the UK have been a long-running scourge that has cost tens of thousands of car owners millions of pounds in repair bills and councils millions in compensation claims," he said.
"The government's announcement is of course a very welcome cash injection for England's ravaged roads, but it will only be truly effective if roads are re-surfaced on time and not just patched up after each winter."
He added: "This winter's heavy rain exposed another aspect of sustained council underspending on road maintenance: the collapse of road drainage, even in areas not hit by 'biblical' volumes of water. Ponds and small lakes on UK roads have been as big a menace this winter as potholes - the former often hiding the latter.
"Councils need to make sure this doesn't happen again, with or without government funding."