£140 million extra funding to help repair roads damaged by ‘exceptional weather’.
The government has announced it will be spending an additional £140 million to repair roads damaged by one of the worst winters on record. It also announced an increase in local council funding to fix roads in flood-affected areas.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced the news on March 9th. Prime Minister David Cameron said: “It’s because of the difficult decisions we have made on public spending that we can afford to repair roads damaged by the severe weather as part of our long-term economic plan to secure Britain’s future and help hardworking people.”
The £80 million set aside for flood-affected local authorities includes an additional £10 million for Somerset, £30 million for local roads flood recover and £7 million as part of the Department for Communities and Local Government floods recovery package. Road maintenance for 2013 to 2014 now totals more than £1 billion.
The money allocated for local councils will be dished out by the end of the week. Information on how the money has been spent needs to be published publically on their respective websites. The Department for Transport will dish out the rest of the money as it sees fit.
“This extra money will help make a real difference to the millions of road users and local residents who rely on local roads, giving them safer and smoother journeys,” the transport secretary commented.
“Councils have a responsibility to maintain their roads properly, but the exceptional weather has caused significant additional damage, increasing the amount of damage to the local road network. As the flood waters have receded and councils have been able to assess the impact, it is clear that the these have been particularly severe in certain areas,” he added.
Last year local authorities estimated it would cost £12.93 billion to repair the UK’s entire road network back, a process it said would take 20 years based on the funding level at the time.
Additional spending on our weather-ravaged roads is a welcome move. Surely, however, it’s time the government spent money on curing the problem of road structure resillience and flood defenses, not the symptons?