Victory for the Daily Mail’s potholes campaign as Jeremy Hunt announces £200m fund to tackle plague on UK roads
Jeremy Hunt is due to unveil a £200million fund to tackle potholes plaguing Britain’s roads in this week’s Budget in a major victory for the Daily Mail campaign.
The Chancellor’s promise means around four million more holes will be filled.
The money represents an increase of nearly a fifth of annual funds to repair crumbling rural and local roads, and will be disbursed to councils in England in the coming weeks.
As the money is intended for town halls, this means that residential streets, country roads and minor roads B and C will benefit.
The Mail has highlighted how a growing number of potholes on these routes are costing drivers millions of pounds in repairs to their vehicles while putting cyclists and motorcyclists at risk of injury or death.
It is a major victory for the Daily Mail campaign, which has highlighted how a growing number of potholes on these routes are costing drivers millions of pounds in repairs.
Jeremy Hunt is to unveil a £200m fund to tackle potholes plaguing UK roads in this week’s Budget
Figures from the Department for Transport show that up to half of unclassified residential minor roads need resurfacing in some parts of the country. Meanwhile, up to a quarter of the B and C roads need repair.
Overall, 15% of unclassified roads in England are in the “red” category for their condition, the worst classification.
Mr Hunt told the Mail last night: ‘Potholes are causing misery for motorists. The Mail campaign has put the issue in the spotlight and I agree it is time to act.
“This money will fix up to four million potholes, keep the country moving and put growth on the fast track.”
Transport Secretary Mark Harper added: ‘Potholes are a plague on Britain’s roads.
“This latest round of funding shows that we are committed to supporting all road users – from motorists to cyclists and bus passengers – and to making journeys smoother and safer for everyone.”
The money will be on top of the £1.125billion spent each year between 2020 and 2025 on resurfacing and repairing local motorways.
Council chiefs said it was a welcome boost after a particularly wet and cold winter, which caused more cracks to appear on British roads.
Additionally, the price of asphalt and concrete has skyrocketed amid the energy crisis, driving up the cost of repairing potholes by 16%. The average pothole costs around £50 to fill.
City hall bosses have long argued they need a bigger share of the money that goes to roads – with national highways receiving £7billion to run the motorways and major A roads despite local roads covering many more kilometres.
Edmund King, chairman of the AA, said: ‘This £200m bonus is a welcome short-term contribution to help tackle the scourge of potholes that plague drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.
“Ultimately, we need concerted longer-term investments to start addressing the backlog. But we are delighted that the AA campaign with the Daily Mail is bearing fruit.
RAC road policy chief Nicholas Lyes added: ‘While welcome, an extra £200million is unlikely to make much of a difference to the overall quality of our ramshackle local roads.
Department for Transport figures show up to half of unclassified minor residential roads need resurfacing in parts of the country
“We need to dramatically increase funding for the maintenance and improvement of local roads so councils can properly resurface roads rather than repair them and hope for the best.”
Town halls have been accused of using a temporary ‘hit and go’ method of repairing roads – where damaged soil is not removed or repaired before it is filled in, meaning potholes rarely reappear after being repaired.
A poll last week found two-thirds of drivers believe the roads have deteriorated in the past year, with one in five saying they have incurred costly repair bills of more than £100.
A spokesman for the Local Government Association, which represents the councils, said: ‘We look forward to seeing details of how this money will be allocated.
“Despite the best efforts of councils, which repair a pothole every 19 seconds, the backlog of repairs on our local roads is growing and would take over £12billion and nine years to clear.”
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Email firstname.lastname@example.org by following the five steps below:
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