The Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin has announced an extra £140 million, with just under £40 million earmarked for flood, hit areas and the rest being shared by other local authorities.
Allocations will be announced on Friday, but Staffordshire is hoping to secure a £2m share of the additional pot, which will be used across the county for road repairs, and fixing potholes before the summer.
Cllr Simon Tagg, Cabinet Support Member for Transport and Connected County with Staffordshire County Council, welcomed the news of the one-off payment but stressed that we also need the continuous investment in our road network that the county council has been able to deliver in recent years.
Cllr Tagg said, “An effective and well maintained road network in Staffordshire is at the centre of our commitment to bring jobs and prosperity to the county and any extra boost to tackle problems like potholes is always welcome. In welcoming the additional funding, we recognise the need for a more longer term investment in our road network, which will be key to the country’s future economic growth.
“As a county council we have already invested an additional £50m of local money in improving our road network. In a county as vast as Staffordshire maintaining and improving roads is an on-going challenge, so extra funding from Government is more than welcome.
”Our highways crews currently fix more than 300 potholes a week and we will be looking now how much extra funding we get on Friday and then exploring the best ways to invest this to get the maximum return for the county’s roads and for Staffordshire residents.”
The investment comes after the wettest winter on record in parts of the UK last year, which caused widespread devastation to sections of the road and rail network. The extra money would be spent on carrying out immediate repairs such as fixing potholes, and increasing preventative maintenance of roads to ensure that there is less need for emergency or large-scale repairs in the future.
Mr McLoughlin, Transport Secretary said: “This extra money will help make a real difference to the millions of road users and local residents who rely on local roads, giving them safer and smoother journeys.”
The Department for Transport has said the additional money will be distributed to the majority of councils in England by the end of the week with work being carried out before August.