West Sussex council given cash handout to fill county potholes
West Sussex has been allocated Â£841,000 to fill thousands of potholes in the county.
The cash handout, announced today (Thursday, April 7) is a slice of £50 million of government money.
Eighteen councils in South East will receive a share of £8.3 million, helping to remove around 157,000 potholes from local roads during this financial year.
The funding has been made available as part of the £250 million Pothole Action Fund included in last month’s Budget, which will fix over four million potholes by 2020/21.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said, “I know how important well-maintained roads are to people across the South East. Almost every journey starts and ends on a local road, so the government is giving councils in the South East £8.3 million specifically to tackle the blight of potholes in their area.
“This is just one part of our unprecedented investment in local road maintenance over the next five years. We are giving a record £778 million to local authorities in South East that will improve journeys across the region.”
In total, the government is spending £6.1 billion nationwide on local highways maintenance between 2015/16 and 2020/21, giving councils long-term certainty for the first time to plan future work with the aim of preventing potholes and improving local roads, bridges and street lighting.
As part of this investment, the Pothole Action Fund will give local authorities in England £50 million a year, over the next five years, to help them tackle more than four million potholes. Funding is calculated according to the size of the local road network in the area.
Responding to the Government’s announcement, Cllr Martin Tett, Local Government Association Transport spokesman, said: “While £50 million is a step in the right direction, councils need more than 230 times that amount to cover the £11.8 billion cost to bring our roads up to scratch. The money announced today will help those councils receiving it to tackle potholes, but it would not even completely cover the cost of the £69 million faced by the average authority to bring its roads up to a reasonable condition.
“Councils fixed a pothole every 15 seconds again last year despite significant budget reductions leaving them with less to spend on fixing our roads. Local authorities are proving remarkably efficient in how they use this diminishing funding pot but they remain trapped in a frustrating cycle that will only ever leave them able to patch up those roads that are inadequate.
“Councils share the frustration of motorists having to pay to drive on roads that are often inadequate. Our polling shows that 83 per cent of the population would support a small amount of the existing billions they pay the Treasury each year in fuel duty being reinvested to help councils bring our roads up to scratch.
“The condition of our roads is only going to get worse unless we address it as a national priority. The Government’s own traffic projections predict a potential increase in traffic of up to 55 per cent by 2040. Councils desperately need long-term and consistent funding to invest in the resurfacing projects which our road network desperately needs over the next decade.”
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