DEVON County Council has welcomed a £9.1 million funding boost for road repairs, announced by the Department for Transport on Friday.
Devon has received £9,129,602 from the Government’s Pothole Repair Fund after successfully bidding for a share of the £168 million pot for authorities across England. It is one of 148 authorities to receive a share of the cash.
The latest funding is on top of almost £7 million Severe Weather Recovery Funding which the county was awarded earlier this year following the damage caused during the wettest winter on record.
Devon County Council has already embarked on a recovery programme of patching and surfacing using this funding, and more than 42,500 potholes have been repaired on the county’s highway network so far this year.
The extra cash will not only be spent on fixing potholes, but also on longer term repairs to add life and resilience to roads, as well as on drainage improvements.
The locations of where the funding will be spent are yet to be decided.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management and Flood Prevention, said: “The Government should be applauded for making good on its word of providing extra funding in response to the storm damage, and this announcement is very much appreciated.
"This funding will help us with the on-going recovery efforts on our road network. We are already well underway with a £7 million programme of repairs, but we always accepted that after consecutive severe winters we would need additional support.
“This funding will have a positive impact and we will ensure we get value for money out of it. However, when you consider we suffered around £24 million worth of damage last winter and that we are still paying for the legacy of the remaining repairs from the £18 million damage from the previous winter, we are constantly going to be playing catch up.
"With over 8,000 miles of roads we have a bigger highway network to maintain than any other authority in the country, and we need around £64 million of investment a year just to maintain the current condition of Devon's road network.
“Devon’s road network is vital to our local economy, so we need a more consistent level of funding which would enable us to drive further efficiencies in planning and programming repairs.”
The repair work using the Pothole Repair Funding has to be completed by the end of March 2015.