Councils get extra cash to fix potholes

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THOUSANDS of pounds of extra funding is travelling to the region’s roads to help patch up routes wrecked by winter weather and floods.

Sunderland City Council has been given a £346,608 slice of the £180million fund, while Durham County Council has been granted £1.24million to carry out repairs.

On Wearside, authority bosses welcomed the cash, which will ease the stress put on its roads budget.

A spokesman for Sunderland City council said: “Like many local authorities across the country, highways work in Sunderland is under pressure because of budgetary constraints.

The condition of our highways network has also been affected by severe winter weather and flooding in recent years. The council has received additional top up funding before from the Government and these funds are very welcome.”

Brian Buckley, strategic highways manager at Durham County Council, added: “Following successive poor winters and unprecedented flooding events, the roads have deteriorated.

“This funding is welcomed and will be used to restore the integrity of the network and contribute towards addressing the maintenance backlog.”

A total of £46.7million of Government funds is going to flood-hit areas in the south west of England.

Patrick McLoughlin has told MPs he expected local authorities to spend the money quickly in the wake of one of the wettest winters on record.

The Transport Secretary announced earlier in March the Government was increasing the amount of money available, given the severe weather in the first part of the year.

Chancellor George Osborne pledged a further £200million for pothole repairs in this week’s Budget.

The goal is to ensure most of the repairs are complete before the summer holidays, the Department for Transport said. All local highway authorities will be required to publish information on their website showing how and where the money will be spent.