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Sunday, 25 February

A Big Pot For Pot Holes

Road users will benefit from an investment of almost £200 million to help improve the condition of local roads up and down the country, Transport Minister Jesse Norman has said.

This funding will go towards repairing almost 1 million potholes and will also be used for highways maintenance, developing new technologies to improve highways resilience - and on more quality cycle parks.

The £200 million announced includes:

  • £46 million to help repair potholes.
  • £151 million for the local highways maintenance incentive fund.
  • £500,000 competition for connected technologies.
  • £4 million for the Cycle Rail scheme.
  • An extension to 3 cycle and walk to work pilot projects

Jesse Norman recently visited York to see the progress of a 'pothole spotter' trial. The trial sees high-definition cameras fitted to bicycles, buses and bin lorries to monitor road conditions. It gives councils detailed information so they can fill potholes when they occur as well as plan resurfacing works and help prevent potholes and other road defects.

The Transport Minister said: "People need great roads to do business. We’re investing record amounts at present to improve the condition of our roads, so drivers and cyclists don’t have to dodge potholes to travel safely. We’re also looking at how new innovations can help councils keep their roads in the best condition, saving money and planning their maintenance better.

"Almost 1 million more potholes will be repaired by highway authorities in England, outside London, thanks to £46 million of additional funding, which is on top of the £75 million Pothole Action Fund already given to councils this year. The £250 million Pothole Action Fund was announced in the 2016 Budget and will fix more than 4 million potholes by 2020/21."

A new £500,000 competition will also challenge councils to develop pilot projects of new connected technologies for the collection of road condition and pothole data.

A further £4 million will enable the government’s Cycle Rail Programme to continue to be funded next year. The project pays for high quality cycle parking built at stations and has seen bike journeys at participating stations increase by nearly 40%. Since 2012, the Department for Transport has invested almost £35 million to build cycle facilities at stations, including cycle hubs which are secure and have retail and repair facilities.

The pilot Cycling and Walking to Work fund will also be extended by 6 months, with Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and Liverpool benefitting from a share of £1.6 million.

Picture: Going to potholes - money has been allocated to fix the bane of drivers and cyclists' lives

Article written by Cathryn Ellis

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