ABOUT £10m is to be spent on patching up potholes in the region, after the government announced £168m would be made available for repairs across the country.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced today (Friday, June 20) that £168m is being given to councils for road repairs. Nearly £10m of the money is to be awarded to councils in the North-East and North Yorkshire for filling in potholes.
London alone will receive £10m for its road network.
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The Government money will come from a dedicated Pothole Repair Fund. As a condition of receiving the money, local authorities will have to publish monthly updates on how many potholes have been repaired.
Durham County Council will receive £2.1m, which the government estimates is enough to potentially fix 41,000 potholes, at a cost of £53 per pothole.
Darlington will receive £225,900 for its Pothole Fund, which figures claim could fix 4,000 holes.
The largest award in the region was made to North Yorkshire County Council, which was given £5.1m; and could pay for 97,000 potholes to be filled.
North Yorkshire has the third largest road network in the country, with more than 6,000 miles of roads. The county council says 5,000km of its minor roads are in need of urgent repair. It estimates it needs to spent £330m to fetch its road networks up to a “reasonable” standard.
Chairman of the county council, John Weighell said the council would put in a one-off payment of £5m to match the government funding, bringing the amount they would spend on potholes in North Yorkshire to £10m.
He said the money would be spent on fixing minor routes, which had suffered particularly badly during the wet weather of 2012.
He welcomed the funding, and said: “This will not solve the whole problem but this will help to solve the problem.”
Councillor Gareth Dadd, executive member for highways said it was a “successful bid” for funding for North Yorkshire, as under the traditional formula they would have received £4.8m from the government.
The Government said it will spend more than £24bn on England’s strategic road network between 2010 and 2021 - the biggest investment in the road network since the 1970s.
But motoring organisation, the AA said cost-cutting on road maintenance had caused the widespread problem of potholes and surface water on roads and more action was required than just patching up potholes.
A spokesman for the AA, Luke Bosdet said: “Potholes are a long-running scourge – it’s almost become a saga – and it’s cost car owners millions of pounds in repair bills and cost millions of pounds in compensation.
“Although the new Government money is very, very welcome it isn’t as effective as resurfacing; the road network needs more than patching up after bad weather.”