Almost £350 million of funding will be made available by the Department for Transport (DfT) to upgrade local roads over the next four years.
The investment for councils will be made available through two sets of funding over the next four years; totalling £348 million, local authorities can bid for a share of the money to tackle any issues on their local roads, from potholes to easing congestion which will ultimately improve safety – a major priority for authorities throughout the country.
The Challenge Fund is the first investment pot; this will be available from now until the end of next year, offering just shy of £200 million to local authorities to tackle the problems associated with their local roads.
Councils are encouraged to bid for projects that will improve road quality and infrastructure, benefiting the local economy and making notable strides in safety; major pothole repairs could be solved with this funding.
The other funding pot – the Pinch Point Fund – will be available from 2021 to 2023, totalling £150 million.
This funding will focus on easing congestion on the country’s busiest roads; previous beneficiaries of this funding have seen links improved between major A roads, opening up housing and commercial land, as well as bus lanes which ease congestion and improve safety.
It follows a pattern of investment from the DfT to ensure roads are fit for purpose; between 2015 and 2021, approximately £6.6 billion will be spent to improve road condition.
And the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, explained what the funding will deliver.
He said: “Local roads are the backbone of the transport network for drivers up and down the country, but we know that some aren’t up to the standard they need to be.
“Whether it’s congestion or quality, we need to empower local authorities to invest in these roads and make journeys safer and stress-free.
“That’s exactly what this funding will do – over four years, we’re providing more than a third of a billion pounds to make sure local authorities have the cash they need to make this a reality.”