Millions of potholes will be filled thanks to savings from scrapping the Birmingham to Manchester section of HS2.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper yesterday revealed how £8.3 billion would be spent over the next eleven years resurfacing more than 5,000 miles of local roads.
The project is part of Network North, which will divert the £36 billion earmarked for the northern section of HS2 towards other transport projects.
Today, Mr Harper was asked whether much of the money would be spent on general road resurfacing rather than repairing individual potholes.
I think that drivers, cyclists and public transport users care about the quality of roads. They want the roads to be free of potholes,” he told BBC Breakfast.
“This money will enable councils to repair individual potholes, while also ensuring they can invest and improve the overall resurfacing program so that people see an improvement in the quality of their local roads.”
The holes will be filled with savings made from scrapping the Birmingham to Manchester section of HS2
Asked on Sky News whether pothole funding was guaranteed, he said: “We give it to local authorities and we want to make sure they are held to account, so one of the other things we do is make sure they keep transparency about what they spend their money on.
“Their local electorates can then hold them accountable.”
Across England, local authorities will receive £150 million this financial year, followed by a further £150 million for 2024/25, with the rest of the funding allocated until 2034.
Town halls in the North West, North East and Yorkshire and Humber will receive £3.3 billion over this period, £2.2 billion in the West Midlands and East Midlands and £2.8 billion in the East, South East and South West of England .
It comes on top of the £5.5 billion for local road repairs over 2020-25 and the £200 million announced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt in last year’s Autumn Statement.
Last night, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Well-maintained road surfaces can save drivers up to £440 on costly vehicle repairs, helping drivers keep more cash in their pocket.
“This unprecedented £8.3 billion investment will pave the way for better and safer journeys for millions of people across the country and put an end to annoying potholes.”
Harper said: “Most people travel by road and potholes can cause misfortunes for drivers, from costly vehicle repairs to bumpy, slow and dangerous journeys. Our £8.3 billion revenue for road repairs across the country shows we are on the side of drivers.”
Industry body the Asphalt Industry Alliance estimated this year that fixing the backlog of potholes in England and Wales would cost £14 billion and take eleven years.
About one in nine miles of local road is currently in “poor condition”.
Construction works on the HS2 railway line at Wendover Dean Viaduct in Buckinghamshire
The Daily Mail is campaigning to end the plague of potholes, which are costing drivers millions in repair bills and putting the lives of cyclists at risk.
AA president Edmund King said: “The £8.3 billion plan could make a significant difference in restoring our roads to the standards road users expect, especially if councils use the money effectively to resurface our streets.
“In addition to safer roads, eliminating potholes gives confidence to people who want to cycle and strengthens a sense of pride of place in local communities.”
Local governments are responsible for repairing potholed local roads, while National Highways manages motorways and main A roads. Filling an average pothole costs between £50 and £70.