Nottinghamshire will receive £2.7m in Government cash to repair more than 50,000 potholes on the county’s roads, the Government has revealed today.
The funding is from the £168m dedicated Pothole Repair Fund which Chancellor George Osborne announced in the Budget in March and comes on top of an earlier £1.5m which Nottinghamshire received to repair roads damaged by floods and extreme weather over the past year.
As a condition of receiving a share of the £168m national pot – for which councils had to put in a bid – local authorities have to publish quarterly progress reports on how many potholes have been repaired.
All repair works funded by the £2,781,482 will have to be completed by the end of March 2015 by Nottinghamshire County Council.
Speaking about the announcement, council leader Coun Alan Rhodes said: “This is welcome news, coming as it does against a backdrop of £154m of savings that we as an authority are having to make as a result of Government funding cuts,” “An extra £2.7m will enable us to fund the repair of around 52,000 potholes across the county and comes on top of £1.5m we received earlier in the year from Government to help local authorities repair local roads damaged in by floods and other extreme weather conditions.”
Additionally, Nottingham City Council will receive £384,540, which could repair up to 7,000 potholes,
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.
“By building, repairing and renewing our key infrastructure we will ensure the future growth and prosperity of this county.”
Prime Minister David Cameron is visiting the East Midlands today to formally unveil the announcement.
Speaking about the pothole problem in Nottinghamshire, he said: “Investing in our roads is a key part of our long term economic plan. A modern economy needs modern infrastructure, so businesses can create more jobs, commuters can get to work, and families can get on with their lives.
“We have already made an historic investment in Britain’s road network – the biggest since the 1970s – including £10.5 million set aside for road maintenance in Nottinghamshire in this year alone.
“And today we are announcing over £2.7 million to help the area to rid its roads of the pain of potholes.
“Potholes damage cars, motorbikes and cycles and cost hardworking people money for repairs. Helping fill in potholes is helping hardworking families and we need to do more of it.
“That is why we are giving this extra money which could help fix around 52,000 potholes in the area – making a real difference to journeys for businesses, commuters and families in Nottinghamshire.”
Garages in the Mansfield and Ashfield area have reported an increase in damaged vehicles due to potholes on the county roads.
James Robinson, from the HiQ garage in Hermitage Lane, said: “One of our neighbours up here drove his Range Rover into a pothole the other day and ended up needing two new tyres.
“I’ve had to replace a whole front wheel myself after hitting a pothole.
“The number of realignments we are having to do has definitely gone up as well as an increase in damage to tyres.
“It’s a booming problem but it’s also an unfortunate problem - if it’s due to general wear and tear it’s a different matter.”
In Derbyshire, the Government will give the authority £2,480,658 from the Pothole Repair Fund, after receiving £2,946,577 from the Weather Repair Fund.
But the authority says the money just isn’t enough.
Derbyshire County Council’s deputy cabinet member for jobs, economy and transport, Coun Dean Collins, said: “Potholes are a nuisance for all those who use the roads, and we’ve had our workers and contractors fixing them throughout the year.
“Although this cash is welcome it just won’t be enough to fix all the potholes that have appeared on our roads since the severe wet weather. Hundreds of new potholes appear on our roads each week.
But we will step up our efforts to fix as many postholes as possible with the money from the Government, and by spending the money that we have set aside from our budgets.”
In total, the Government has pledged £18,028,555 to the East Midlands - significantly lower than the £28,077,823 which has been set aside to repair potholes in the South East, and £30,334,708 in the South West.
But Chad readers have given a mixed reaction to the announcement on social media.
Philip Mitchell posted: “It’s not a lot of money considering the number of recorded potholes. That means to repair all of them at just under £52 per pothole - mission impossible.”
Hannah Morwenna Lavery added: “What do they spend our road tax on because it isn’t preserving the roads?”
Reader Charl Megainey told Chad: “Have you been to Shirebrook lately? I’m sick of spending money on my car.”