North Somerset Council welcomes 'essential' pothole funding

The money will be used by the authority’s highway maintenance team to repair potholes, carry out resurfacing schemes and other preventative works on roads across North Somerset.

The money will be used by the authority’s highway maintenance team to repair potholes, carry out resurfacing schemes and other preventative works on roads across North Somerset. - Credit: PA

North Somerset Council has received a £2.227m from the Government’s Pothole Fund.

It is the second of five instalments from the £2.5 billion Potholes Fund up to 2024/25 announced by the Department for Transport (DfT), which the council says is essential to maintain a safer network for road users in the area. 

The money will be used by the authority’s highway maintenance team to repair potholes, carry out resurfacing schemes and other preventative works on roads across North Somerset.

The council's executive member for planning and transport, Cllr James Tonkin, said he welcomes the funding which will make roads in North Somerset safer for all. 

He said: “Potholes on our roads can be dangerous to cyclists, drivers and others using our limited highway space, so we welcome this funding that will help make our roads both safer and easier to travel on for all.

“Our transport network is vital in providing the connections we need for essential trips and deliveries at present and, as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, reconnecting with jobs, education, services and loved ones to secure our economic and social recovery in North Somerset."

This additional money brings the council’s budget available for highway maintenance to £5.9m for 2021/22 from the Government's pothole and road maintenance funds, a 15 per cent reduction on last year’s budget.

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This figure includes the council's own contribution of £1.25m. 

The council says the current spending required to maintain North Somerset's roads in their existing condition is estimated at £10m per year.

The authority added while the current funding levels will inevitably lead to a decline in the network overall, the council will continue to use innovative treatments, technologies and good asset management to slow the decline and reduce the risk of potholes forming 'wherever possible'. 

Cllr Tonkin added: "We will use this government funding to make sure our transport network is up to the best possible standard for walking, scooting, cycling, buses and car travel to enable our recovery to be both active and green.

"This will also help the council's journey to carbon neutrality as we tackle the climate emergency in the area."

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