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£3.3m awarded to Gloucestershire from Government war chest to fix potholes

By jrmaidment  |  Posted: March 20, 2014

Is £3.3m enough to fix Gloucestershire's pothole problem?

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Gloucestershire will receive more than £3 million from a Government war chest to fix roads damaged by recent severe weather.

The wettest winter on record has forced the Department for Transport to take action and make emergency money available to councils under pressure from motorists to improve pothole-ridden roads.

The fighting fund is worth £184 million nationwide but it is the south west that will receive the most cash with £47 million allocated to councils across the region.

Gloucestershire will pocket £3.3 million in total.

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The Department for Transport hand out comes on top of the £200 million announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in his budget on Wednesday which councils will be urged to bid for to pay for pothole repairs.

However, while the Government money will help improve the state of the county’s roads, it is unlikely to solve the overall problem.

Last month Vernon Smith, the county council’s cabinet member for highways, said it would take 10 years of 24/7 working to clear Gloucestershire’s colossal backlog of road repairs, with the cost estimated at £86 million.

Mr Smith welcomed the Government funding.

“We’re grateful for this first instalment of Government money, which will be used to support all the hard work we have done and continue to do to repair our roads following the recent severe weather,” he said.

“In the meantime, we will be bidding for further government support from a pot of £200 million which is being made available in 2014/15 for bad weather damage to highways.

“We will be looking to demonstrate Gloucestershire’s case for further cash to address not just pot holes and surface damage to roads, but also the major landslips caused by one of the wettest winters on record.”

More than 100 local highway authorities have received a share of the £184 million.

All authorities will be required to publish information on their websites showing how and where the money has been spent.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "This extra money will help make a real difference to the millions of road users and residents across England who rely on local roads, giving them safer and smoother journeys."

Further guidance will be made available in the coming weeks on how councils can bid for the £200 million funding for 2014/15 announced in the Budget.

Gloucestershire County Council applied to the Government for £15 million to repair flood damage last month.

It is yet to here if its bid has been successful.

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  • SG1970  |  March 20 2014, 4:36PM

    Wazzamatter - It'll be the usual lip service, of 1000's of 'little patches' that fall apart within a couple of weeks, but the Highways Manager will proudly say they met their target.

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  • Wazzamatter  |  March 20 2014, 3:51PM

    Any bets that the posh/rich areas will benefit first? Then if there is anything left over, poorer areas may just get a few potholes filled.