Norfolk lands �6.9m windfall to repair potholes

Political leaders have welcomed news that Norfolk is to receive an extra �6.9m to repair potholes on its winter-ravaged roads.

The windfall - part of a �200m road repairs fund announced by Transport Secretary Philip Hammond - is the second highest allocation nationally behind Devon's �9.3m.

Today's good news followed a Budget announcement that the government was to double the �100m pot it had put aside for emergency road repairs in February.

The extra cash - the fruits of additional savings identified by the government - will come as reassurance after opposition councillors raised concerns that Norfolk's roads were in danger of drastically deteriorating due to government funding cuts.

At the start of November's cold snap, Bert Bremner, Labour's opposition transport spokesman at County Hall, had warned rural roads across the county might increasingly come to resemble cart tracks.

And he predicted cars and other vehicles would suffer damage at a time when people were being forced more on to the roads by cuts to bus services.

Graham Plant, cabinet member for travel and transport, described the latest funding as 'an absolutely tremendous result for Norfolk'.

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He said: 'I am sure it will be welcomed by hard pressed motorists in the wake of the worst winter for 100 years. I can guarantee our staff, and those of our partner May Gurney, will work to the very best effect to ensure our road network is put in as good a shape as possible in the coming months.

'I am pleased that the funds have been allocated in a fair manner; in this case Norfolk is getting its slice of the national cake.

'Although we expected to receive �3m or so at most, we will rise to the challenge and ensure every penny we receive is put to good use. The money will be spent on a mixture of pothole repairs, patching and resurfacing work between now and September.'

Mr Hammond said the new money represented 'a significant investment at a time of severe fiscal restraint, demonstrating the government's commitment to maintain our infrastructure'.