July 31 2014 Latest news:
Friday, June 20, 2014
Norfolk County Council will have to provide a monthly update on how many pot-holes it has fixed as part of a £5.4m road cash deal announced today.
The government claims the cash grant could fix 102,000 holes on our roads – although councils will be able to spend the multi-million pound grant on other road repairs.
It comes after it emerged that damage caused by potholes on the region’s roads has seen councils fork out almost £½m in compensation over the past five years.
If councils cannot keep up with the huge repair bill to mend cracked roads after each winter, then they face claims from road users whose vehicles have been damaged.
The figures, from a Freedom of Information request, show that from 2009/10 to 2013/14, Norfolk County Council paid out £67,944.70 in compensation claims for pothole damage, while Suffolk paid out £61,344, which includes its own legal fees, and Cambridgeshire County Council £338,483.71.
Councils were invited to apply to the government for a share of £168m.
All councils got something, but a greater share has gone to “model authorities” which were able to demonstrate they were the best at highways maintenance.
Toby Coke, chairman of the environment, development and transport committee at Norfolk County Council, said: “This is a very welcome offer from the government and urgently needed in Norfolk.
“We still need to see the details and ensure we can meet the conditions of the offer, which we’ll be doing over the next few days, but I’m very keen to secure this money and start using it on the ground at the earliest opportunity.”
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Pot-holes are the bane of all our lives and the funding announced today is an important step in ridding our roads of this menace.”
All repair work will have to be completed by the end of March 2015, and all the local authorities who are awarded funding will have to pledge to use the money to help repair potholes or to ensure that they do not appear in the first place.
They will also have to produce a monthly update on what they have done with the cash.
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