Emergency pothole funding will barely make a dent on Northamptonshire's lumpy roads

A Government emergency pothole fund will only fix a fraction of the bumpy roads in Northamptonshire according to the county council.

Monday, 26th March 2018, 7:19 pm
Updated Tuesday, 27th March 2018, 9:10 am
Northamptonshire is set to receive 1.64m from a Government pothole emergency.

Yesterday, transport secretary Chris Grayling announced that local councils across the UK would receive a share of a £100 million roads repair fund.

This money, he said, would help fix almost two million potholes and help protect the roads from any future severe weather.

This is on top of the £75 million in government funding already given to councils from the Pothole Action Fund this year.

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Potholes in the Mounts, Northampton.

Northamptonshire County Council is set to receive £1.63 million from the latest money.

But an authority spokesman told this newspaper it would need all of the £100 million to repair the dangerous roads in the county.

“All money from Government to help pay for highways is very welcome and we’re using what money we have to repair the roads as best we can," said the spokesman.

“However we estimate we would need about £100 million to bring the network up to a good standard.”

Northamptonshire is set to receive just 1.63 million from the fund.

A BBC Data Unit study last week found that all the roads classified as being dangerous in the county would stretch from Northampton town centre to Liverpool if placed end-to-end.

But Mr Grayling said the emergency fund would be a boost for local councils after the long, hard winter.

“People rely on good roads to get to work and to see friends or family," he said.

“We have seen an unusually prolonged spell of freezing weather which has caused damage to our local roads.

Potholes in the Mounts, Northampton.

“We are giving councils even more funding to help repair their roads all road users can enjoy their journeys without having to dodge potholes."

However, Northamptonshire faired poorly in terms of emergency funding compared to like-sized authorities.

Lincolnshire, for example, received double the amount here in the county, £3.45 million.

Already, £2.5 million has been allocated to Devon County Council to quickly repair the A379 which was badly damaged by Storm Emma.

Northamptonshire is set to receive just 1.63 million from the fund.

Blackpool Council has been given £100,000 to lead on a digital inspector scheme with eight councils. This will see high definition cameras mounted on vehicles to collect data on road and path conditions, which is then analysed by computers to highlight where roads are deteriorating.

The City of York will also get £72,000 to use a similar system to build on its pothole spotter trial.

Transport for the West Midlands, West Sussex County Council, Buckinghamshire County Council, Croydon Council and Southampton City Council have also been awarded funding for road condition monitoring innovations.

Swindon Borough Council will trial the use of smartphone sensors to collate road conditions and Essex County Council will work with Daimler to use information collected by its cars. Derby City Council and Oxfordshire County Council will use connected vehicles to collect data on the condition of road signs.