New funding could see 75,000 pot-holes repaired across East Anglia
- Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC 2
New funding could see almost 75,000 pot-holes repaired across East Anglia over the next 12 months.
The Department for Transport has announced it will provide councils in the region with more than £3.9m to carry out the work.
Norfolk is to receive the largest share of the money, with just over £1.6m allocated for the county's roads.
Councillors and the AA have today welcomed the funding, but described it as a 'drop in the ocean' in regard to the wider issue.
Toby Coke, chairman of Norfolk County Council's environment, development and transport committee, said: 'This is a step in the right direction but it is a drop in the ocean compared to what's needed to make the roads fit for 21st century needs – which is not just a Norfolk, but a nationwide problem.'
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The local authority has identified £1.2m from this year's budget for pothole repairs, with a further £1.5m allocated for highway maintenance.
But Nick Tupper, head of highways, said it would cost the council £72m to cover its highways maintenance backlog.
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The money has been made available as part of the government's £250m Pot-hole Action Fund, which was included in last month's Budget.
As part of that fund, local authorities in England will receive £50m a year, over the next five years.
Edmund King, AA president, said: 'The Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance survey reports there is a backlog of some £11.8bn which would take over a decade to put right.
'Currently pot-holes are springing up more quickly than bluebells and mean that all road-users are at risk. It is a false economy to put off until tomorrow what everyone knows needs to be done now. The fund is welcome but won't be enough for local authorities to catch up.'
The government has provided £50m in funding to repair nearly one million pot-holes across the country over the next 12 months.
A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: 'The £1.384m allocation is a welcome addition to previously allocated highway maintenance funds by the DfT but, given that the council has itself allocated an additional £10m to highway maintenance for 2016/17 and 2017/18, it will only provide partial assistance in addressing repairs to Suffolk's highway network.'
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: 'I know how important well-maintained roads are to people across the East of England.
'Almost every journey starts and ends on a local road, so the government is giving councils in the region £7.2m specifically to tackle the blight of pot-holes in their area.'
Have you received funding to improve your local area? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684