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Government Pothole Fund to Make Roads Safer For Cyclists

By Media Executive

Government Pothole Fund to Make Roads Safer For Cyclists

Councils across the country are to be handed £50 million to tackle potholes on problem roads in England.

The Department for Transport says almost a million potholes will be filled in over the next year thanks to the funding which will be shared between 118 local authorities.

The Local Government Association previously said it would cost an estimated £12 billion to fix the roads of concern in England.

Potholes pose a serious threat to road safety and account for a reported 10 to 15 per cent of all cycling accidents in the UK.

More than £6 billion will be spent on the maintenance of local highways over the next five years including £250 million on potholes.

Transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin said: "I know how important well-maintained roads are to people across the country. Almost every journey starts and ends on a local road, so the government is giving councils £250 million specifically to tackle the blight of potholes in their area.”

The South West and South East will be allocated the most cash to fill in around 160,000 potholes each. With 58,000 holes in the road, the North East receives the least.

But although they welcomed the announcement, councils claim that much more is needed to resurface roads and not simply patch up the problem.

Councillor Martin Tett, transport spokesman for the Local Government Association, said: "While £50 million is a step in the right direction, councils need more than 230 times that amount to cover the £11.8 billion cost to bring our roads up to scratch.”

Sheffield, Birmingham and the Isle of Wight are not included as they are privately funded by Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts, as well as the capital which receives separate funding from Transport for London.

Councils and the Highways Agency have a statutory obligation to maintain roads in the UK.

Potholes are particularly hazardous to cyclists if they are difficult to see and can and do result in serious injuries and fatalities. In the UK there is currently an average of one defect for every 100 metres of road.

Potholes can be reported to local councils via We Are Cycling UK at fillthathole.org.uk