Extra pothole funding intended to future-proof roads against bad weather and repair pockmarked tarmac
The Department for Transport has announced an extra £201 million of funding for the UK’s local road network, building on a pothole fund that has seen £420 million spent on road and bridge repairs over the last six months.
The extra £201 million will be split into two pots: £50 million will be allocated to councils for potholes and flood resilience, while £151 million will be given to “to reward examples of councils’ best practice” in road repairs and maintenance – though it will ultimately be up to councils to decide what to spend this money on.
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The DfT is also investing in research into new pothole repair techniques, such as 3D printing, and says and the extra £201 million could pay for over 1,000 miles of road to be resurfaced. A recent industry study put the cost of a one-time road repair catch-up at £10 billion, however.
Announcing the funding, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said “Every motorist knows that potholes have been a problem in the last few years. That is why the government is continuing to step up its funding to local authorities to address this.”
Grayling added: “It is now up to highways authorities to innovate and use new technologies to solve the problem.”
Reacting to the fund, AA president Edmund King said “recent increases in funding means that the country is beginning to find its way out of the road rut.” King said the £201-million fund, combined with the recent mild winter, “presents an opportunity to begin to catch up on the backlog”, though he cautioned the funding “needs to be sustained to make meaningful inroads to improve the condition of our highways.”
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