COUNCIL chiefs have welcomed a six-figure Government grant to repair damage to roads caused by severe weather.
The £131,268 of Department for Transport money allocated to Hartlepool means repair schemes can be brought forward.
Although Councillor Peter Jackson, chairman of the council’s neighbourhood services committee welcomes the extra cash, he says the money is only what has been taken off the council in previous years.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced an allocation of £6.3m to North-East councils to help repair roads after the wettest winter on record, which also includes £1,241,952 to be spent by Durham County Council.
Coun Jackson said; “We are pleased that we are getting additional money for the roads, which are in a bad state at the moment because of the weather we have had over the past year or two.
“With the money we can bring forward some of the schemes we planned over the next couple of years into this year, which is really good.
“People have got to remember Hartlepool Local Transport Plan money we had has reduced over the past few years, with less and less money to actually spend on the roads. In reality we are getting back more or less the money that has been taken from us. We know how bad the roads are and if we really wanted to repair all the roads in Hartlepool it would cost £25m. But we are pleased to get any money to repair the roads.”
He added that Hartlepool had received the lowest amount from the grant in the region.
The money, being freed up now so work can be done before the summer holidays, is a one-off payment from £183.5m of extra funding the Government has made available. It comes after a £200m pothole fund was announced in the Budget.
Mr McLoughlin said: “Damage to roads causes misery for drivers and local communities and the severe weather over the last few months has made the problem worse.”