Pothole £79 million repair budget windfall is welcomed

Pothole repairs in Kettering in 2013
Pothole repairs in Kettering in 2013

Highways teams in Northamptonshire are to be given a £79 million windfall from the Government specifically for repairing potholes.

The money is on top of £3.3 million that was announced in the Chancellor’s budget in March this year, and the new cash will be spent between 2015 and 2021.

Next year, the funding will total £15.2 million, followed by slightly smaller amounts until 2021.

The Department for Transport allocates funding to local authorities based on local need, so councils with larger highway networks receive more of the funding.

The investment amounts to £90 million a year, enough to fix about 1.7 million potholes across the region.

More than £4.7 billion will be shared between 115 councils, while a further £575 million will be available through a new fund to help repair and maintain local highway infrastructure, such as junctions, bridges and street lighting.

Patrick McLoughlin, the transport secretary, speaking on a visit to the county to make the announcement, said: “Roads play a significant part in everyday life. Poorly-maintained local roads, blighted by potholes, are a menace to all road users, particularly during the festive period as people travel to see family and friends. This huge investment is part of our long-term economic plan to ensure we have a transport network fit for the 21st century.”

The potholes money that Northamptonshire will receive is about double the average amount for councils across England.