Extra cash poured into countys’ pothole roads

editorial image

County councils in Bucks, Northants and Oxon have each received a share of the £183.5m funding allocated for flood-damaged roads.

The authorities will each receive £2.5m, £1.5m, and £4.7m respectively. The ‘emergency payment’ was issued by the Department of Transport following the wettest winter on record. But the extra cash may not end all pothole misery for motorists as the cash has been ring-fenced specifically for use on roads damaged this winter.

A spokesman for Oxon County Council said: “More money means that you can do more repairs more quickly.

“However, as with most councils in the country, the roads are deteriorating at a rate beyond what our funding allows us to address.”

The council currently spends around £4m on annual repairs. At Northants County Council highways officers say the road repair backlog is £100m to bring all roads up to a ‘good’ standard and because of budget constraints the condition of the network would continue to deteriorate.

A spokesman said: “Currently we repair around 40,000 potholes each year and spend between £3m and £4m (specifically on potholes) so although the £1.5m is a welcome help it will not cover all our needs.”

In Buckinghamshire the county council filled 500 potholes last week. Routine road maintenance cost the authority £1.1m for the year 2013/14 and £2.24m and £1.43m in the two years previously.

Janet Blake, cabinet member for planning and transport, said: “We always welcome extra government money to help us meet our residents’ top priorities – in this case repairing our roads after severe weather.”

Last week Chancellor George Osborne announced a further £200m for repairs.