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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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Cumbria wins £5m to repair potholes

A CASH injection of almost £5m is coming to Cumbria in the battle against potholes.

The Government has now revealed how much money will be allocated to councils across the country in a bid to tackle the scourge which is blighting thousands of roads.

It has estimated that each pothole would cost £55 to repair, and so the money – totalling £4,851,027 – could repair about 91,000 holes.

Chancellor George Osborne revealed in his budget speech in March that the Government was releasing an additional £168m for road repairs.

The money was allocated after bids by each council, and it is out of this pot that Cumbria has been awarded the cash.

The grant must, however, only be used to “repair potholes or to ensure that they do not appear in the first place” and councils must publish monthly updates on how many repairs have been done.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Potholes are the bane of all our lives and the funding announced today is an important step in ridding our roads of this menace.

“But it is only one part of a massive programme of investment to get our country up to speed as part of this government’s long-term economic plan.”

The funding is on top of the £3,018,761 already earmarked for road maintenance in Cumbria by the Department for Transport, as a part of its £183.5m budget for road maintenance.

It brings the amount of additional funding given to the county in 2012/15 to £7,869,788.

AA president Edmund King said: “Potholes in the UK have been a long-running scourge that has cost tens of thousands of car owners millions of pounds in repair bills, and councils millions in compensation claims.

“The new government money is very welcome but it will only be truly effective if roads are re-surfaced and not just patched up after each winter.”

See also ‘The Cost of Potholes’ on page 21.

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