Roads set to benefit from pothole funding boost from scrapped HS2 cash

There is a strict process for deciding which roads are put forward for full-scale resurfacing each year - based on the condition of a route and its importanceThere is a strict process for deciding which roads are put forward for full-scale resurfacing each year - based on the condition of a route and its importance
There is a strict process for deciding which roads are put forward for full-scale resurfacing each year - based on the condition of a route and its importance
Councils across the North West are to get an extra £19 million from the government for pothole repairs and resurfacing schemes this year - matching the additional amount they received last year.

The cash is coming from the money saved by the decision last autumn to scrap the northern leg of the HS2 rail line between Birmingham and Manchester - £1.2bn of which will come to the North West.

The £19m for 2024/25 includes the extra £3.6m already allocated to Lancashire County Council and £191,000 to Blackpool Council for road repairs.

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As a condition of the new pothole funding - and to make sure money is being spent on pothole repairs - local authorities are required to publish a two year plan detailing exactly which local roads will benefit.

The Department for Transport has already been clear with those local authorities that have failed to publish reports that they could see the withdrawal of future funding to resurface roads.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “We’re on the side of drivers, which is why this Government is getting on with delivering our plan to invest £1.2 billion in the North West as part of the biggest ever funding increase for local road improvements, made possible by reallocated HS2 funding.

“Alongside this unprecedented funding, which is already being used to improve local roads, we’re making sure residents can hold their local authority to account and see for themselves how the investment will be spent to improve local roads for years to come.”

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Having submitted their first reports last month, councils in the North West will now also be required to submit quarterly reports from June, announcing work which has taken place over three months, meaning residents will now regularly be able to scrutinise the progress their local authority is making to tackle potholes.

The government claims its ong-term plan to improve local road networks across the country could save motorists up to £440 on vehicle repairs - and is the biggest ever uplift in funding for local road improvements.

RAC head of policy Simon Williams said: “It’s very encouraging to see so many local authorities quickly setting out how they’ll use the first tranche of the government’s reallocated HS2 funding to improve their roads.

Drivers will be pleased to see potholes fixed and roads resurfaced, especially as our research shows the poor state of local carriageways is their number-one concern. We hope councils will also use this extra money to carry out vital surface dressing work which helps prevent cracking in the cold winter months by sealing roads against water ingress. The prime time for this life-extending work is between April and September, so time is of the essence.”

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