West Berkshire awarded funding to repair more potholes
More than 4,000 holes to be fixed
More than 2,200 extra potholes in West Berkshire will be filled after the local authority was awarded a share of the Government’s £250million Pothole Action Fund.
As part of the funding, £50 million will be made available to local councils over the next 12 months and West Berkshire will benefit from £217,000, providing the means to repair 4,094 potholes.
In the south east region 158,282 potholes have been targeted and more than 100 councils in England have been awarded a share of the pothole fund.
The drive to fix potholes is part of the government’s £250 million Pothole Action Fund included in last month’s budget which will see more than four million potholes repaired by 2021/21.
Welcoming the announcement Newbury MP Richard Benyon said: “The state of the roads in and around Newbury has been an issue for some time now and remains a great source of frustration for drivers.
“This new funding is great news for West Berkshire. I’ve been campaigning for a long time for greater investment in road repairs, and will be encouraging the council to make full use of their allocation locally.
“I’m glad that the Government is investing both nationally and locally to improve the standard of our local roads.
“It shows that we are delivering on our commitment to invest in infrastructure to attract businesses and secure Britain’s future.”
The funding forms part of a pledge to West Berkshire for nearly £4million in road maintenance funding in 2016/17, as part of the government’s £6.1 billion investment for local road maintenance by 2020/21.
West Berkshire Council spokesperson Peta Stoddart-Crompton said: “Overall, this is good news.
"The council’s budget for pothole repairs was £498k in 2015/16. This has been reduced this year as part of the Government funding cuts, by £100k to £398k.
“Therefore, the £217k from the Government will give us an additional budget of £117k for both pothole and other related carriageway repairs. At a cost of approximately £53 to repair a pothole, this should enable us to fix an additional 2,207 potholes across the district.
“With two thirds of the West Berkshire network being rural and following any winter period, some potholes on the network will be inevitable, however, due to the council’s proactive approach to pothole repairs in conjunction with its extensive annual Highway improvement Programme, the condition of the road network serving the district continues to improve.”