Grayling digs out £100m for emergency pothole repairs
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is releasing £100m to English local authorities specifically to help repair potholes caused by recent winter weather.
The £100m is on top of the £75m in government funding already given to councils from the Pothole Action Fund this year, as well as the additional £46m boost for highways authorities announced just before Christmas.
The Department for Transport expects seven million potholes to be patched with this money.
The money is for English councils only, because road maintenance in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland is devolved to their own governments and not run from Westminster.
Mr Grayling said: “We have seen an unusually prolonged spell of freezing weather which has caused damage to our local roads. We are giving councils even more funding to help repair their roads so all road users can enjoy their journeys without having to dodge potholes.”
The £100m total includes £2.5m that has already been allocated to Devon County Council for emergency repairs on the A379, which was badly damaged by Storm Emma.
The government is also investing more than £900,000 in trials using connected vehicles to help councils develop preventative and predictive maintenance strategies.
Blackpool Council has been given £100,000 to lead on a digital inspector scheme with eight councils. This will see high definition cameras mounted on vehicles to collect data on road and path conditions, which is then analysed by computers to highlight where roads are deteriorating.
The City of York is getting £72,000 to use a similar system to build on its pothole spotter trial.
Transport for the West Midlands, West Sussex County Council, Buckinghamshire County Council, Croydon Council and Southampton City Council have also been awarded funding for road condition monitoring innovations.
Swindon Borough Council will trial the use of smartphone sensors to collate road conditions and Essex County Council will work with Daimler to use information collected by its cars. Derby City Council and Oxfordshire County Council will use connected vehicles to collect data on the condition of road signs.
The DfT has also given a £30,000 grant to the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT) to work on technological and innovative improvements to make the local road network ‘future-proof’.
This fund is on top of the £6bn the government has allocated to English local highway authorities between 2015 and 2021 to maintain and improve their roads.