Government gives Northamptonshire £700k for pothole repairs

Residents of Austin Street, Northampton believe it is one of the worst roads in Northamptonshire.
Residents of Austin Street, Northampton believe it is one of the worst roads in Northamptonshire.

Northamptonshire will receive more than £700,000 from the Government to repair the county's potholes, the transport minister revealed this week.

A total of £46million was allocated nationally for the repairs, £731,053 of which will go to Northamptonshire to fill its 13,793 potholes at a cost of £53 each.

The initiative forms part of a wider £200million investment in the UK's roads with the funding going towards repairing almost 1 million potholes, and will also be used for highways maintenance, developing new technologies to improve highways resilience, and high-quality cycle parks.

As well as the £46million for potholes, £151million will go to the highways maintenance incentive fund; £500,000 for a competition for connected technologies; £4million for the Cycle Rail scheme; and an extension to three cycle and walk to work pilot projects.

Speaking in York the transport minister, Jesse Norman, said: “People need great roads to get about, do business and see friends and family.

“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.”

Mr Norman visited York to see the progress of the pothole spotter trial and a new e-bike, which will be the 11th vehicle to have cameras fitted to it as part of the pilot, which is also running in Thurrock and Wiltshire.

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.

Almost one million more potholes will be repaired by highway authorities in England, outside London, thanks to £46million of additional funding, which is on top of the £75million Pothole Action Fund already given to councils this year.

The £250million Pothole Action Fund was announced in the 2016 Budget and will fix more than four million potholes by 2020/21.

The next round of the local highways maintenance incentive fund was also launched today with £151million to reward councils for efficiently planning roads maintenance. This money is part of just over £6billion to authorities to help keep their roads in a good condition.

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 £4million 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 per cent.

Since 2012, the Department for Transport has invested almost £35million 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 six months, with Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and Liverpool benefitting from a share of £1.6million.