£6 billion to be spent fixing Britain's potholes
The government is to spend £976 million a year between 2015 and 2021 fixing potholes and improving local roads, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced today.
The £6 billion in total is enough to fix around 18 million potholes across the country, McLoughlin claimed.
"Roads play a significant part in everyday life," the minister said. "Poorly maintained local roads, blighted by potholes, are a menace to all road users, particularly during the festive period as people travel to see family and friends.
"It is vital we have good quality roads. The £6 billion funding will put an end to short term fixes and will mean we have committed £10 billion between 2010 and 2021."
But only £4.7 billion of the cash will go to the 115 councils who require it, and those with ‘larger highway networks;' will get more cash. The remainder of the £6 billion will be funneled into a ‘challenge fund' to help repair and maintain local highway infrastructure such as junctions, bridges and street lighting.
Councils who carry out road repairs the most cost effectively, will then be rewarded with funds from a separate £578 million pot of cash.
Peter Horton, managing director of LV= Road Rescue, said: "Britain's roads have taken a battering this year with heavy storms and some areas getting nearly twice as much rainfall as usual, which caused flash flooding and left many roads under water for days. This has left many roads with a serious pothole problem and one in six drivers has had their car damaged as a result.
"Road maintenance is severely under-funded and councils face difficult choices in the roads they repair, often opting for short-term fixes over longer term repairs.
"This investment in our roads will go some way to repairing the damage but it will be some time before we see the benefit on our roads. Motorists should protect themselves by keeping an eye out for potholes and keeping speeds down – particularly in wet weather when potholes may be filled by rain."