Pots of cash

REPAIRS of potholes in Hartlepool have been given a £240,000 boost from the Government.

Hartlepool Borough Council will get £240,413 from £200m in Government funds to repair potholed roads hit by the winter freeze.

The Government pledged last month to give councils a share of a £100m funding pot and then a further £100m was announced in the Budget to go towards pothole repairs.

The cash will help boost the council’s repair work on the town’s roads that were described in an atrocious state after freezing winter temperatures fell below minus 10C.

Mike Blair, the council’s highways, traffic and transport manager, said the cash will be a huge boost for the town and add to the £1.2m budget for roads surfacing and pothole repairs.

He said it could, subject to approval, allow workers to launch road resurfacing schemes instead of short-term pothole patching.

Mr Blair said: “It will enable us to do 25 per cent more than what we would normally be doing towards the repair of the worst damaged roads in the town.

“Patching is a short-term fix which can be damaged again next winter. It is not economical. But the long-term resurfacing of a road gives 20 years plus life.”

It comes after the Mail launched our Plot the Pots campaign urging people to highlight problem roads in Hartlepool in a bid to get them repaired.

The cash boost will see Durham County Council will get £2.3m and Stockton Borough Council, which repairs roads in Billingham and Wolviston, will get £441,685.

Last month the Department for Transport announced that it was making available £100m as an exceptional payment to help with much needed road repairs following the severe weather at the end of last year.

The funding announced was made possible because of savings the department made earlier in the financial year, but further savings allowed the Government to announce the funding in the Budget.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said: “Potholes are a menace to all road users and I want councils to make fixing them a priority.

“This represents a significant investment in road maintenance at a time of severe fiscal restraint, demonstrating the Government’s commitment to maintain our infrastructure to support motorists and businesses.”

The funding is in addition to the £831m already provided to councils for road maintenance this year and the £3bn the Government has committed over the next four years.

l Mail view: Page 8