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Wirral's share of £168m will help rid the borough of potholes
AROUND 8,000 potholes are set to be repaired on Wirral’s roads thanks to money from a £168 million pothole fund.
The cash, announced in Chancellor George Osborne’s budget earlier this year, attracted bids from local highway authorities across the country.
Wirral Council submitted its own application for funding on May 22 and today found out it will receive £462,452 from the pot.
The funding will be used to repair more than three million potholes across Britain, 8,000 of which are said to be in Wirral.
It is the latest in a series of announcements which will see more than £24m spent on England’s strategic road network between 2010 and 2012 – the biggest investment in the road network since the 1970s.
Authorities who have received funding have to sign a “pothole pledge”, and must publish monthly progress reports on how many potholes have been repaired.
Councillor Stuart Whittingham, Wirral’s cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: “This extra money is helpful to add to that the council has put in this year to repair local roads.
“We routinely keep on top of road repairs which affect safety and carry out preventative schemes which stop potholes forming and this will continue with existing funding.
“However, this extra money will go towards repairing many of those shallower potholes which look unsightly and make a road uneven, but which did not meet that safety criteria for repair.
“We will be reporting regularly on our website about progress in using this money, letting people know how many repairs we have completed.”
In total 148 authorities applied for funding and all will receive a share.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Potholes are the bane of all our lives and the funding announced today is an important step in ridding our roads of this menace.
“But it is only one part of a massive programme of investment to get our country up to speed as part of this Government’s long term economic plan.
“By building, repairing and renewing our key infrastructure we will ensure the future growth and prosperity of this county.”
Parliament is now considering legislation that will transform the Highways Agency into a government-owned company backed by locked-in funding, changes that will eliminate the uncertain “stop-start” funding processes of the past and save the taxpayer at least £2.6bn over the next 10 years.
This huge investment in the strategic road network is reflected by a further £7.4 billion committed to local roads in the next Parliament, along with funding from the £12 billion Local Growth Fund.
All repair works have to be completed by the end of March 2015.
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