The Transport Minister has allocated £200 million in funds for road improvements across England, it has been revealed.
Jesse Norman was in York to unveil the investment that will be used to repair potholes, which total almost one million in the country. Funding will also be used to maintain highways, develop the technology to improve our highways, and also develop cycle parks.
As part of the £200 million investment, £46 million has been set aside to repair potholes in England, outside London. This will be undertaken by highways authorities throughout the country and is added to the government’s £75 million Pothole Action Fund which councils have received this year.
Last year’s Budget saw a £250 million Pothole Action Fund announced that is set to fix in excess of four million potholes by 2020/21.
Jesse Norman spoke about the funding: “People need great roads to get about, do business and see friends and family.
“We’re investing record amounts at present to improve the condition of our roads, so drivers and cyclists don’t have to dodge potholes to travel safely.
“We’re also looking at how new innovations can help councils keep their roads in the best condition, saving money and planning their maintenance better.”
The issue of funding for local councils to fix problems such as potholes is something that the Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) has called for. Even with the latest investment, it is still short of what councils need, and the RSTA’s Chief Executive, Howard Robinson, has spoke on these pages about the problems and in our latest publication.
The £200 million investment also includes the latest round of the local highways maintenance incentive fund – worth £151 million – which rewards councils for efficient planning in regards to road maintenance.
Elsewhere, £500,000 has been set aside for a competition that will challenge councils to develop projects of new connected technologies which will help with data on road conditions and potholes; and £4 million will go towards a Cycle Rail Scheme.