Pothole money is “not enough”

editorial image

Money to tackle the nation’s potholes has been allocated to local councils - but it’s not enough says Bedford’s mayor.

The Government has handed a share of £50million to more than 100 local authorities to repair about 943,000 potholes in England’s roads.

Bedford Borough Council received £137,000 to help fill 2,585 potholes over the next 12 months.

But Mayor Dave Hodgson said this is a “tiny fraction” of the investment required to keep roads in a decent condition.

He said: “Any extra funding is welcome, but while the Government will proclaim that it is fixing the roads, in the real world this funding is a tiny fraction of the amount required to keep our roads maintained to a decent standard.

“A national survey has shown that 230 times more funding than the amount announced from this fund is needed to repair the country’s roads.

He added: “Here in Bedford Borough, we are simply not prepared to allow the condition of local roads to threaten the safety of road users. Despite dealing with unprecedented cuts in funding for the Council, we are having to add over £1.8 million to the national funding for the Borough in this year alone to ensure the roads are in a decent condition.”

The Government funding is the first instalment of a £250million investment over five years. It says each pothole costs £53 to repair.

Central Bedfordshire is receiving £244,000 in 2016/17 as part of the Pothole Action Fund. This money will help fill up to 4,604 potholes in the next 12 months.

Both areas have also been allocated money from the Government’s £6.1billion investment in road maintenance over the next five years, to be spent by local highways authorities on projects such as road surfaces and bridges.

Bedford will receive £2,737,000 in 2016/17 and Central Bedfordshire will get £4,086,000 in 2016/17.