North East to get a share of £6 million to repair roads damaged by winter rains

North East councils will get £6 million to repair roads damaged by wettest winter on record the Transport Secretary has announced

A pothole in the road
A pothole in the road

More than £6m will be spent repairing North East roads damaged by severe winter weather, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has announced.

Councils across the region are to receive £6.2m out of a total fund of £173m.

Much of the money is going to the West Country and south east of England, where flooding was particularly severe.

But there has been a grant of £2.7m to Northumberland County Council, where the state of roads has been raised by a number of councillors, and £1.2m for Durham County Council.

Smaller grants went to the region’s Metropolitan councils in Tyne and Wear, including £282,000 to Newcastle, £250,000 to North Tyneside and £294,000 to Gateshead.

The cash is an emergency payment from the Government to help with road repairs following the wettest winter on record, and will pay for the repair of 3.3m potholes around the country.

On top of the money being shared out to councils this week, the Chancellor of the Exchequer that another £200m will be provided for pothole repairs in 2014-15. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Damage to roads causes misery for drivers and local communities and the severe weather over the last few months has made the problem worse.

“This extra money will help make a real difference to the millions of road users and residents across England who rely on local roads, giving them safer and smoother journeys.”

The majority of the damage should be fixed ahead of summer holidays, according to Ministers.

Shadow transport minister Richard Burden warned the cash would do little to ease the condition of roads around the UK, adding there was a £10bn backlog in the repair programme.

He said: “Traffic jams cost UK motorists 30 hours each last year, often made worse by there being a £10 billion backlog in the road repair programme. And when local road maintenance was cut by nearly a sixth between 2010 and 2013, are you surprised that the Chancellor’s announcement yesterday of a potholes challenge competition has hardly got many motorists shouting ‘bingo’ today.”

Mr McLoughlin replied: “I’m very glad that not only yesterday did Mr Osborne announce an extra £200m to invest in our roads but also later today I will be announcing the allocation of the £140m that I announced a few weeks ago to all local authorities.

“And I hope they will use that £140m along with the £200m done yesterday to do significant improvements on our roads.”

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer