The government has announced how £50 million of funding will repair nearly 1 million potholes across the country over the next 12 months
06:30, 7 APR 2016 UPDATED 07:56, 7 APR 2016
BY GEORGINA TOWNSHEND
Motorists and cyclists around Surrey are set to benefit from a further £1 million to fix around 19,500 potholes in the county.
The government announced on Thursday (April 7) how £50 million of funding will repair nearly 1 million potholes over the next 12 months.
A total of 18 councils in South East will receive a share of £8.3 million, helping to remove around 157,000 potholes from roads during this financial year.
The funding has been made available as part of the £250 million Pothole Action Fund included in last month’s Budget, which will fix over four million potholes by 2020/21.
Jules CranwellSilkmore Lane, West Horsley
Surrey is set to see a figure of £1,033,000, with the aim of fixing 19,491 potholes.
Neighbouring counties West Sussex will be getting £841,000 to fix 15,868 potholes, with Hampshire getting £1,488,000 to fix 28,075 potholes.
Alan Young, county councillor for Cranleigh and Ewhurst, who has been ‘a tireless campaigner for smoother roads in Surrey’ said: “I was delighted when the chancellor announced his £250m five year fund for potholes late last year.
“Along with others, I have been lobbying for more work to be done on potholes – an issue which fills my post bag more than any other.
“It is good to see Surrey receiving its share of the funding in the first year of the scheme and I look forward to seeing a difference on the ground.
“People in Surrey pay almost £7bn a year in tax to the Exchequer.
“The very least they should get back is some decent roads to drive on.
Langham Close, GodalmingLangham Close, Godalming
“I have lost count of the number of drivers who have lost wheels in potholes on local roads, especially country lanes.
“This can be extremely distressing, especially for women driving on their own, and we must do everything we can to make our roads safer.
“The county council has carried out a huge amount of work on the roads in the last five years, although there remains a significant backlog to deal with. The problem is not only one of financial resource, but also one of properly trained human resource, which is very thin on the ground.
“I hope that this additional funding for Surrey will ensure, not only that more potholes can be filled, but that the repairs are carried out to a high standard that will stand the test of time.”
This is not the only scheme that has been introduced recently to improve Surrey’s roads.
£100m Project Horizon
Surrey County Council launched the £100 million project Operation Horizon in 2013 to overhaul more than 300 miles of road over five years, with a total of 819 roads earmarked across the county.
However, it has been estimated that fixing Surrey’s pothole-ridden roads would cost £200million .
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “I know how important well-maintained roads are to people across the South East. “Almost every journey starts and ends on a local road, so the government is giving councils in the South East £8.3 million specifically to tackle the blight of potholes in their area.
“This is just one part of our unprecedented investment in local road maintenance over the next five years.
“We are giving a record £778 million to local authorities in South East that will improve journeys across the region.”
In total, the government is spending a record £6.1 billion nationwide on local highways maintenance between 2015/16 and 2020/21, giving councils long-term certainty for the first time to plan future work with the aim of preventing potholes and improving local roads, bridges and street lighting.
As part of this investment, the Pothole Action Fund will give local authorities in England £50 million a year, over the next 5 years, to help them tackle more than four million potholes. Funding is calculated according to the size of the local road network in the area.