The Department for Transport (DfT) is to distribute a further £100 million to England’s local authorities to tackle potholes on our roads, exacerbated by late 2010’s sub-zero conditions. The DfT’s cutbacks earlier in the financial year have generated the additional funding.
Edmund King, AA president, told the BBC: “£100m extra is welcome and if it was just used for patching up potholes, you could probably fill in about 1.5 million potholes - and there are probably two million-odd out there. Now, that's good as a sticking-plaster solution but you also need a longer-term coherent strategy of structural road maintenance. Sometimes it's more cost-effective to bite the bullet and actually resurface a bit of road rather than fill in a pothole. If you don’t spend money it costs you more in the long term.”
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said: “It's set at the maximum amount that we can afford to deliver to local authorities during a period of public spending constraint to manage their road maintenance. Now individual local authorities have to decide how to use that money, as between patching up - short-term patching up of really serious problems in the roads, potholes and so on - and the longer-term maintenance programme.”
He added that outside the core budgets already provided, a highways maintenance efficiency programme is being funded for the Government to work with local authorities aimed at “delivering road maintenance more effectively, more cheaply and more efficiently.”