Cash boost for pothole repairs

14th Febuary 2011.'council staff filling in potholes as part of a feature .' 'LOCATION: Stanley Street, Eastmoor, Wakefield''Picture: MATTHEW PAGE
14th Febuary 2011.'council staff filling in potholes as part of a feature .' 'LOCATION: Stanley Street, Eastmoor, Wakefield''Picture: MATTHEW PAGE

POTHOLES will be the priority in the city after an extra £830,000 was been secured to improve its roads.

And work will start today.

The government has just allocated the money to Wakefield Council to help it recover from the damage caused to road surfaces during last December’s cold snap.

At a council meeting this week deputy leader Coun Denise Jeffery promised the money would be spent on filling potholes.

She said: “We are very grateful for the extra funds and will be dealing with potholes first.

“Any money left over will then be allocated to other urgent schemes.”

In February, the council’s highways team announced there were eight times more potholes needing urgent attention than in an average month.

And they estimated around 6,000 still needed to be filled across the district, at a cost of around £60 per pothole.

The new money is part of £100m allocated to towns and cities across the country.

The grants are ring-fenced for fixing roads, in addition to existing highways budgets, and cannot be used for other purposes. All councils must report back to the Government by September on how the extra money is being used.

Wakefield is planning to spend £250,000 of the grant on tackling the backlog of potholes. A further £100,000 is being set aside as a reserve in case of another bad winter and the rest will be spend on re-surfacing the worst affected roads to prevent the formation of potholes in the future.

Coun Peter Box, council leader and chairman of the Local Government Association’s Economy and Transport Board, said: “I am pleased the Government has made this money available to councils and am pleased that Wakefield has received its share.

The extra £200m from Government will provide an important contribution in the short-term towards patching up the damage last winter wreaked on our roads.

“However, it will not significantly reduce the backlog of road repairs needed or make big improvements to our highways network.”

“Potholes are a menace to motorists and drive all road users to despair. Councils know how strongly people feel about them and have responded by fixing them at a record rate.

“More frequent extreme winters have taken their toll on the roads but, even as their budgets are being cut, councils will continue their efforts to make less money go further and ensure roads remain safe.”

l See letters, page 23