Extra £1.3m to tackle potholes problem on North Somerset roads
An extra £1.3 million is to be spent on improving North Somerset’s roads in the next year.
Despite saving £9.7 million from this year’s overall budget, the authority has earmarked £1.3 million from its coffers to improve the road network.
The extra funding will mean the authority will spend £6.6 million on highways improvements during the next financial year – £1.9 million more than in 2012/13.
The extra funding comes as a council survey revealed that only 28 per cent of people in the district were happy with the condition of North Somerset’s roads.
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A £650,000 slice of the cash will be spent on highways improvements while £100,000 will go on drainage schemes and an additional £180,000 will be spent on gully emptying, which it is hoped will help reduce flooding incidents like those encountered across the district last year. A further £329,000 will be spent on highway repairs.
As well as the additional cash earmarked by the council, the Government has allocated nearly £1 million to the authority to spend on roads over the next two years.
Authority leaders say that in an ideal world the council would spend £5.3 million on highways each year, compared to the £4.5 million it spent last year.
North Somerset Council executive member for highways Elfan Ap Rees said: “Although we will be receiving an additional million pounds from government this will not be enough to bridge the funding gap we face for road repairs.
“We have tried to keep the state of our A-roads above the national average but there are many minor roads and urban streets in desperate need of repair. This is certainly not a situation unique to North Somerset but is yet another financial challenge facing local government.”
The number of pothole repair crews in the district has already been increased with four additional teams being brought in to help repair the roads.
Due to the sustained bad weather throughout 2012 – the wettest year since records began – the number of potholes on roads across the district has rocketed.
The two-man crews – which have been specifically recruited to tackle potholes – are due to start work this week and are expected to fill an average of 160 potholes a day.
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