Region to get millions to fill in pot-hole-ridden roads, but Labour say it's not enough (From The Northern Echo)
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Region to get millions to fill in pot-hole-ridden roads, but Labour say it's not enough
THE Government has this morning announced £9.5m of funding to repair pothole-ridden roads in the North-East and North Yorkshire.
The Transport Secretary said the funding was an exceptional payment from £183.5m of extra funding the Government has made available to help with repairs following the wettest winter on record.
Patrick McLoughlin said this was enough to repair an extra 3.3 million potholes.
Mr McLoughlin said: “Damage to roads causes misery for drivers and local communities and the severe weather over the last few months has made the problem worse.
“This extra money will help make a real difference to the millions of road users and residents across the north east who rely on local roads, giving them safer and smoother journeys.”
The councils receiving funding are:
• Darlington £178,442
• Durham £1,241,952
• Gateshead £294,795
• Hartlepool £131,268
• Middlesbrough £140,529
• Newcastle £282,923
• North Yorkshire £3,223,589
• North Tyneside £251,071
• Northumberland £2,736,241
• Redcar and Cleveland £263,488
• South Tyneside £172,647
• Stockton-on-Tees £258,308
• Sunderland £346,608
Shadow transport minister Richard Burden warned the cash would do little to ease the condition of the roads, adding there was a £10bn backlog in the repair programme.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Burden told Mr McLoughlin: "Traffic jams cost UK motorists 30 hours each last year, often made worse by there being a £10bn backlog in the road repair programme.
"And when local road maintenance was cut by nearly a sixth between 2010 and 2013, are you surprised that the Chancellors announcment yesterday of a potholes challenge competition has hardly got many motorists shouting bingo today.
Mr McLoughlin replied: "I'm very sorry you take that kind of point because I don't know whether you can commit from (Mr Balls) the kind of investments that we're putting into the road infrastructure in this country.
"Because as I understand it, you're not allowed to make any commitments whatsoever.
"So I'm very glad that not only yesterday did (Mr Osborne) announce an extra £200m to invest in our roads, but also later today I will be announcing the allocation of the £140m that I announced a few weeks ago to all local authorities.
"And I hope they will use that £140m along with the £200m done yesterday to do significant improvements on our roads."
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