‘£22m is not enough to repair Wakefield’s roads’

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Wakefield Council will get £22.3m to repair pothole-ridden roads across the district.

The funding, part of £6bn being spent nationally, was originally announced last year but the government has now announced how much each individual authority will get to spend on repairs during the next six years.

But the council say the funding is not enough to cover the cost of repairing all of its roads.

Coun David Dagger, cabinet member for transportation and highways said “While the announcement is positive, Wakefield, like many local authorities, has to manage a backlog of repairs, currently estimated at £68 million.

“This has been allowed to develop due to years of highway maintenance underfunding by central government.

“It will allow Wakefield to target the roads and footways requiring essential maintenance, but will not permit any significant improvement.”

Council leader Peter Box also welcomed the funding.

Commenting as chairman of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, he said: “Well-maintained roads lead to better reliability and journey times for buses, freight and car users, helping to make West Yorkshire a place businesses want to invest in.”

Wakefield’s funding is part of £81m being given to councils across West Yorkshire.

Coun Box added: “The certainty of £81m over three years, with a possible further £71m over the three years after that, is welcome.

“But I’m disappointed that the maintenance budgets of the individual councils have been reduced to create this fund, at a time when councils are being asked to reduce funding for services, including day-to-day highway maintenance.”

Transport secretary 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.”