One of the biggest ever road resurfacing programme to improve local roads has been announced by transport secretary Mark Harper.
The move, which sets out a £8.3bn long-term plan, would involve resurfacing more than 5,000 miles across the next 11 years.
Local highway authorities in England will receive £150 million this financial year, followed by a further £150 million for 2024/2025, with the rest of the funding allocated through to 2034.
Each local authority can use their share of the £8.3 billion to identify what local roads are in most need of repair and deliver immediate improvements for communities and residents.
It is divided into £3.3bn for the north, £2.2bn for the Midlands and £2.8bn for the south and east of England.
According to the RAC, smoother, well-maintained road surfaces could save drivers up to £440 each in expensive vehicle repairs from pothole damage.
Boost road safety
The government hopes the funds will also help boost road safety and encourage active travel, as smoother road surfaces will make it safer and easier for cyclists to use roads with greater confidence.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the government would be tackling the “scourge of potholes”.
He said: “This unprecedented £8.3 billion investment will pave the road for better and safer journeys for millions of people across the country and put an end to the blight of nuisance potholes.”
Transport Secretary Mark Harper added: “Today’s biggest ever funding uplift for local road improvements is a victory for all road users, who will enjoy smoother, faster and safer trips – as we use redirected HS2 funding to make the right long-term decisions for a brighter future.”
To increase transparency and ensure the £8.3 billion leads to an increase in the number of roads being resurfaced, local authorities will be required to publish information on their websites on a regular basis explaining how they are spending the funding in their area.
Edmund King OBE, AA president, said: “So far this year The AA has attended more than 450,000 pothole related breakdowns. The damage caused can be a huge financial burden for drivers but is also a major safety risk for those on two wheels.
“The £8.3 billion plan can make a considerable difference in bringing our roads back to the standards which road users expect, especially if councils use the cash efficiently to resurface our streets. As well as safer roads, eliminating potholes gives confidence to people wanting to cycle and instils pride of place within local communities.”
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