Budget’s gone to pot holes

Pot holes in Elm Road, Sutton.
Pot holes in Elm Road, Sutton.
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Thousands of pounds will be spent on the St Helens road network but council bosses have said it is not enough to plug the problem.

The Department for Transport (DFT) has allocated funds to North West authorities to help them tackle the effects of severe weather on the borough’s roads.

In addition to this, the council is able to apply for central Government funding as a result of last week’s budget announcement.

Despite its DFT grant of £252,281, St Helens council said the funding does not go far enough.

A spokesman said: “Prevention is always better than cure. And in this case we need help to take care of our carriageways and footways before problems arise.

“The new grant is intended for reactive work only.

“This one-off grant is welcome – but doesn’t go to the heart of the problem. Torrential rain, snow and freezing temperatures can have a major impact on the highway surface and we are already using a number of different techniques to seal surfaces to prevent deterioration.

“We’ve already committed a substantial amount of our own money to repair work, with numerous main and side roads treated since last summer.”

Earlier this year the St Helens Reporter launched a 
campaign for residents to highlight the borough’s biggest potholes to help the council.

Transport secretary Patrick 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.

“This extra money will help make a real difference to the millions of road users and residents across the North West who rely on local road, giving them safer and smoother journeys.”

Local authorities can apply for a share of £200m set aside to plug the nation’s pothole problem, chancellor George Osborne announced last week.

Although experts have estimated that the country’s ailing road network will require £10.5bn to repair fully.

In regard to these central Government funds, the council spokesman added: “The council will be bidding for this money as soon as the government announces more details.”

To highlight everything from potholes to damanged drains and wonky pavement, get in touch by e-mailing sthelensreporter@lep.co.uk, or post snaps on our Facebook page or tweet us at @StHelensRep