A MAJOR £25 million investment in North Yorkshire’s roads has been announced as a result of new “growth deal” funding from the government.

The county council is to use its share of the Government funding for economic growth announced today (Monday, July 7), to improve and maintain its roads.

North Yorkshire County Council leader John Weighell said good transport links were critical to economic prosperity.

“This is an extremely significant investment in North Yorkshire and will allow the county council to take steps to ensure that the vitally important transport infrastructure of this very large county supports the economic growth and prosperity for which we are all striving,” he said.

Cllr Weighell met the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin in March, after sending him a personal letter outlining the nature and scale of the financial challenges facing North Yorkshire’s highways maintenance.

North Yorkshire is geographically England’s largest local authority area and has the third largest road network in the country, with more than 6,000 miles of roads.

In his letter, Cllr Weighell warned that approximately half of its road network was in need of urgent repair, and warned the issue was “rapidly becoming a crisis”.

The funding comes on top of more than £10 million announced just over two weeks ago for pothole repairs - £5.2 million from the Department for Transport, matched by a similar amount from the county council.

The additional funding announced by the Government today will cover work over the following five years.

The county council is now drawing up a detailed programme of works.

Many of the potholes in rural North Yorkshire come about as a result of damage to the edge of the road.

Rather than just patch these potholes the council has decided to undertake much more cost efficient permanent repairs by resurfacing the road.

This will fill the existing potholes and help prevent more potholes forming in future.

It is part of a huge national funding initiative designed to promote economic growth.

In addition to the highways network contribution, money will be channelled through the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to boost growth across the North Yorkshire economy. The LEP funding will be aimed particularly at businesses and enterprises in rural areas.