Drivers across the UK have been handed a major lifeline thanks to an enormous £8.3billion funding boost to improve roads and fill potholes.
The Government announced the major funding boost this morning, with the £8.3billion enough to resurface over 5,000 miles of road across the country over the next 11 years.
Across England, local highway authorities will receive £150million this financial year, followed by a further £150million next year. The rest of the funding has also been allocated through to 2034.
£3.3billion will be given to local authorities in the North West, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber, with a further £2.2billion for local authorities in the West Midlands and East Midlands.
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The rest of the funding – around £2.8billion – will be allocated to the East of England, South East and the South West.
For the first time in eight years, London will also receive money to resurface roads and fill in potholes.
According to the RAC, the new funding will ensure that drivers could save up to £440 on expensive repairs thanks to the funding saved from the cancelled HS2 network.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who has been pictured in recent months inspecting potholes, said the investment was being made to make life easier for drivers.
He added: “For too long politicians have shied away from taking the right long-term decisions to make life easier for hardworking families – tackling the scourge of potholes being a prime example.
“Well-maintained road surfaces could save drivers up to £440 each in expensive vehicle repairs, helping motorists keep more of the cash in their pocket.
“This unprecedented £8.3billion investment will pave the road for better and safer journeys for millions of people across the country and put an end to the blight of nuisance potholes.”
Recent data from the AA found that fixing potholes and investing in road maintenance was a priority for 96 per cent of drivers.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper added that the boost to repair roads proved the Conservative Government was on the side of drivers.
He said: “Today’s biggest-ever funding uplift for local road improvements is a victory for all road users, who will enjoy smoother, faster and safer trips – as we use redirected HS2 funding to make the right long-term decisions for a brighter future.”
Local authorities will be required to publish information on their websites on a regular basis explaining how they are spending the money in their local area.
This is being done as part of the Government’s Network North plan, with money diverted from HS2 to help drivers continue their journeys on the road.
The AA has already attended more than 450,000 pothole-related breakdowns, with the motoring organisation saying they cause major issues, especially for those on two wheels.
RAC head of policy, Simon Williams, said: “Drivers’ biggest bugbear of all is the poor condition of local roads, so the fact the government has found a significant additional pot of revenue should give councils the certainty of funding they need to plan proper long-term road maintenance, something we have been calling for many years.
“We hope local authorities will use the money in the most effective way possible by resurfacing the very worst roads, keeping those in reasonable condition in better states for longer through surface dressing and filling potholes as permanently as possible wherever necessary.”