Council’s £143k windfall to fix potholes

St Helens Council is receiving �143,000 to fix potholes
St Helens Council is receiving �143,000 to fix potholes

Motorists can look forward to smoother journeys after St Helens Council was awarded £143,000 by the Government to fix potholes.

The local authority received the money, which will fill in almost 2,700 potholes on the borough’s roads, through the national Pothole Action Fund.

The money, announced on Thursday by the Department for Transport (DfT), is part of a £6.4m funding package being handed out to 22 North West local authorities to rid the highways of around 121,000 potholes.

St Helens Council said the funding award was positive news but warned it would only go part way to ending the scourge of potholes and called for more money to be made available to tackle the roots of the problem.

A town hall spokesman said: “While this funding is welcome, all it really does is paper over the cracks. Many roads have deteriorated considerably over the last few years and greater investment is needed to bring them up to the required standard.

“Nationally a £12bn backlog of maintenance work has been identified to bring the country’s local road network up to an acceptable standard.”

In addition to the St Helens funding, which will tackle 2,698 potholes, Knowsley Council is receiving £107,000 to fix 2,019 holes.

The £50m funding announced by the Government, which will run over the next five years, will repair almost one million potholes across the country between now and April 2017 and ministers hailed the announcement, saying they were aware how much aggravation the issue causes for drivers.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “I know how important well-maintained roads are to people across the North West. Almost every journey starts and ends on a local road, so the government is giving councils in the North West £6.4m specifically to tackle the blight of potholes in their area.

“This is just one part of our unprecedented investment in local road maintenance over the next five years. We are giving a record £625m to local authorities in North West that will support the Northern Powerhouse and improve journeys for all.”

The Government says it is also giving councils funding until 2020-21 to tackle problems such as potholes and improve local roads, bridges and street lighting.