Councils given extra £140m to repair roads damaged by winter weather

The money brings the total government investment in road maintenance to more than £1bn in 2013/14

Councils in England are to be handed an extra £140m to repair roads damaged by the recent bad weather, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has said.

Those areas most severely damaged by the storms will receive £36.5m, bringing the total amount of funding for these authorities to £80m.

A further £103.5m will be shared between English councils for repairs.

"Having the right infrastructure in place to support businesses and hardworking people is a crucial part of our long-term economic plan,” Mr McLoughlin said.

"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."

Downing Street said the extra money brought the total government investment in road maintenance to more than £1bn in 2013/14.

The announcement comes after sections of the road and rail network were devastated during the wettest winter on record.

 

The additional money will be distributed to the majority of councils by the end of the week, so that work can be completed before the summer holidays.

Councils will be expected to account for how the money has been spent by the end of August.

"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," Mr McLoughlin said.

Local Government Association environment and housing board chairman Mike Jones told the BBC that the investment was "good news for residents".

However, he said: "We do not yet know what the full bill for the cost of this winter's devastating floods will be, but we expect it to be more than £140m."

He said councils were already facing a £10.5bn shortfall to repair damaged roads, saying the problem had been "exacerbated by adverse weather".

Mr Jones called for "consistent funding over a number of years" to pay for resurfacing projects to allow the road network to recover.

Read more: British coastlines eroded by storms
Winter storms killed greatest number of trees in a generation
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