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Northumberland gets £2.7m for pothole repairs

Potholes are causing motorists problems in Northumberland

Potholes are causing motorists problems in Northumberland

Northumberland has received more than £2.7million for pothole repairs from the government, far more than anywhere else in the north east.

Councils across England have learned how much they will receive from the £183.5million made available to help repair local roads damaged by severe weather.

This is an emergency payment to help with road repairs following the wettest winter on record and will pay for the repair of 3.3million potholes nationwide.

The north east as a whole was awarded £6,298,272, with more than a third – £2,736,241 – allocated to Northumberland.

The next highest was the £1,241,952 given to Durham, another local authority with many rural roads.

On top of this money, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the budget that another £200million will be provided for pothole repairs in the financial year 2014/15.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Damage to roads causes misery for drivers and local communities and the severe weather over the last few months has made the problem worse. This extra money will help make a real difference to the millions of road users and residents across England who rely on local roads, giving them safer and smoother journeys.”

It comes as the county council’s Labour administration has pledged to clear the backlog of pothole repairs by the end of June.

In the last six months, the council has managed to reduce the backlog of potholes through investment in new methods and machinery, including the purchase of two Jetpatcher repair machines and the use of two additional road menders.

In May 2013, the pothole backlog stood at 35,247 outstanding repairs, which was reduced to 12,213 defects at the end of January.

At the county council’s Budget meeting in February, council leader Grant Davey announced an extra £600,000 to accelerate the programme of pothole repairs across the county, pledging to tackle the remaining backlog by the end of June.

This project will not lead to the repair of every pothole in the county, but clear the existing backlog so that new faults can be repaired more quickly.

 

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