ALMOST 100,000 potholes are to be filled in across Cumbria as part of the biggest investment in roads since the 1970s.
The government has announced it will be allocating £4.85m to deal with 91,000 road repairs in the county as part of a national fund which was announced on Thursday.
“An extra nearly five million pounds to spend on potholes and highways maintenance is going to help make a huge difference right across the county,” said Councillor Keith Little, cabinet member for highways and transport.
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”People are going to see a lot more activity on the roads in the forthcoming months – with highways repairs teams out in force doing those jobs that perhaps have been niggling communities for some time now.”
The money comes in addition to the £3m announced in March which will make up the county’s ‘weather repair fund’.
The county counci was one of 148 authorities which put together a bid for the cash.
Coun Little praised the highways team that put the bid together, saying it had ‘brought home the bacon’ for Cumbria.
He said the bid outlined how the county council has already implemented a ‘prevention is better than cure’ approach to highways maintenance with its ‘fix it right first time’ ethos.
South Lakes MP Tim Farron hailed the news. “Potholes are an aggravation to drivers—and can cause damage to cars, and even lead to accidents,” he said.
“Now that the county council has secured this funding, I would really urge them to spend it and get those potholes filled.”
The news was announced by government transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin.
“Potholes are the bane of all our lives and the funding announced today is an important step in ridding our roads of this menace,” he said.
“By building, repairing and renewing our key infrastructure we will ensure the future growth and prosperity of this county.”
As part of the same initiative Lancashire County Council was allocated £4.9m to combat around 92,000 potholes while North Yorkshire was given almost £5.2m to deal with 97,000 potholes.
All repair works must be completed by the end of March, 2015, and money can be spent repairing potholes or ensuring they do not appear in the first place.
Councils will also have to publish quarterly updates so that residents can see how many potholes or miles of resurfacing has been undertaken in their area.