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Cornwall's Pothole Cash Injection

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10:28am 23rd December 2014

Almost 120 million pounds is being pumped in to fixing Cornwall's potholes.

The government cash will be staggered over the next six years.

The South West will receive 847 million as part of an investment scheme across the UK.

Ministers say it will be enough to fix around 2.7 million potholes across the region.
 
It is the first time councils have been given locked-in funding over this length of time, which the Transport Secretary says will help them plan ahead and save money for the taxpayer.
 
Patrick McLoughlin said: "Roads play a significant part in everyday life. Poorly maintained local roads, blighted by potholes, are a menace to all road users, particularly during the festive period as people travel to see family and friends.
 
"It is vital we have good quality roads. This government has already taken strong action by spending £1 billion more on local roads maintenance than was spent in the previous parliament.
 
"The £847 million funding I am announcing today for the South West will put an end to short term fixes and will mean we have committed £10 billion between 2010 and 2021.
 
"This huge investment is part of our long term economic plan to ensure we have a transport network fit for the 21st century."
 
The Department for Transport allocates funding to local authorities based on local need, so councils with larger highway networks receive more of the funding.
 
Over £4.7 billion will be shared between 115 councils, while a further £575 million will be available through a new challenge fund to help repair and maintain local highway infrastructure such as junctions, bridges and street lighting.
 
It was also announced today that £578 million has been set aside for an incentive fund scheme which will start in 2016 to reward councils who demonstrate they are delivering value for money in carrying out cost effective improvements.
 
Matthew Lugg, director of public services for Mouchel Infrastructure Services and advocate for the Highways Agency Efficiency Programme, said: "Taking a more holistic approach to planning roads and services can be game changing and deliver greater efficiencies.
 
"Councils who think about long term planning and how they work together to share their resources, achieve greater economies of scale and keep the road surface in good repair, ensuring value for money for the taxpayer. Today's announcement by the Government will help to deliver this."
 
Geoff Allister, executive director of the Highways Term Maintenance Association (HTMA) and advocate for the Highways Agency Efficiency Programme, said:
 
"We congratulate the Transport Secretary in taking the step of introducing an incentive element from 2016/17 into the local highways maintenance funding for councils.
 
"Those that can show they truly understand the value of their asset can plan greater efficiencies and deliver cost-effective, preventative maintenance, making the available money go even further."

But some motoring organisations are warning the cash does not go far enough.

Simon Williams from the RAC said: "It's probably not enough to fix the problem which has been estimated, in terms of fixing it, at a one-off twelve billion pounds in England alone. This money is actually allotted over a period of years and in reality, won't be enough to bring our roads back up to the state that we really need them to be in."

Kate Hudson works at Pelynt Garage near Looe and says they see a couple of cars a month with pothole damage: "Damage to alloy wheel, cracks, dents and that sort of thing fails an MOT and also suspension damage. We get a couple of cars a month come in with that sort of damage and if you share that out with all the garages - that's my share; other garages are seeing the same if not worse."

10:28am 23rd December 2014

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