TRANSPORT bosses have welcomed a funding boost of more than £160,000 to help fix pothole-riddled roads.
Nationally the Government has announced plans to award local authorities a total of £168m to fix roads and Hartlepool Borough Council has been awarded an extra £166,816.
The potential number of potholes that could fix is 3,000, but transport officers say they always prefer to re-surface roads or stretches of roads rather than patch potholes.
In March, the council was awarded £131,268 weather repair funding so the total amount of extra funding received this year from the central Government stands at £298,084.
Total funding towards road maintenance for 2014-15 stands at £766,000, but that is still a drop in the ocean compared to what is needed to fix the backlog of potholes on town roads.
Previous estimates put the figure at £20m plus to repair roads damaged by previous bad winters, but nevertheless councillors in Hartlepool have welcomed the additional funding.
Labour councillor Peter Jackson, chairman of the council’s neighbourhood services committee, said: “The council welcomes this additional money to improve the standards of roads in Hartlepool. The condition of roads in the town remains a very high priority for the council and we therefore submitted a very strong funding bid to the Government.
“The money will help us to carry out more improvements on the back of the various schemes which the Council identified additional funding for earlier this year.”
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Potholes are the bane of all our lives and the funding announced is an important step in ridding our roads of this menace. But it is only one part of a massive programme of investment to get our country up to speed as part of this Government’s long term economic plan.
“By building, repairing and renewing our key infrastructure we will ensure the future growth and prosperity of this county.”
As a condition of receiving the money local authorities are required to publish monthly progress updates on how many potholes have been repaired.
This is the latest in a series of announcements which will see more than £24bn spent on England’s strategic road network between 2010 and 2021.
All repair works have to be completed by the end March 2015.
Officials say Parliament is also considering legislation that will transform the Highways Agency into a government-owned company backed by locked-in funding; changes that will eliminate the uncertain ‘stop-start’ funding processes of the past and save the taxpayer at least £2.6bn over the next 10 years. There is an interactive map which shows what each area of the country is to receive funding wise.