Councils In England Get Potholes Cash

Government Releases Extra £168 Million For Repairs


Potholes have the potential to cause serious harm to cyclists, pedestrians and other road users, as well as damage vehicles - and the wet winter caused plenty of them to appear.

For this reason, the government has acknowledged the depth of the problem by making another £168 million available to local authorities to fund repairs.

The cash was announced by transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin, who commented: "Potholes are the bane of all our lives and the funding announced today is an important step in ridding our roads of this menace."

In total, 148 local authorities will receive some cash, with £10 million being spent in London. The government estimates the money will enable three million potholes to be filled in by the end of March 2015.

Extra cash will go to local authorities that have demonstrated a commitment to good practice by investing in new equipment or bringing in specialist crews who can swiftly deal with potholes - or take pre-emptive action to prevent their appearance.

Examples of councils that have taken such action include Northamptonshire - which has set up a real-time pothole repairs tracker, Hampshire - which has brought in extra equipment for repairs, plus Lancashire, which has been highlighted as an example of how to work effectively with highway authorities, contractors and suppliers to deal with potholes swiftly and efficiently.

However, not everyone is satisfied that the funding allocated will be sufficient to make a major impact on the problem.

A Local Government Association spokesman told the BBC: "While we welcome any extra funding, £168 million is a drop in the ocean compared to the £12 billion backlog in roads maintenance." He argued that fixing potholes represents a "sticking plaster" approach and what is really needed is a "long-term approach" to maintaining roads instead of occasional announcements of "emergency funding".

The AA was also underwhelmed, with its president Edmund King welcoming the cash, but adding that it will "only be truly effective if roads are re-surfaced on time and not just patched up after each winter.”

Expert Opinion
It is encouraging that the Government has decided to release extra funds to help repair the roads in the UK. We see time and time again cases in which people have suffered serious injuries from driving or cycling incidents involving potholes and need further treatment and rehabilitation to aid their recovery.

“It is important that steps are taken to ensure that the roads are maintained to the highest possible standards to help prevent accidents for happening.”
Stephen Nye, Partner