£100m not enough to fix potholes

Hertfordshire County Council has welcomed the announcement that councils will be given extra money to fix potholes, but says it won't go far enough to repair all the roads across the county.

The Government recently announced it will give local authorities an extra £100 million for roads damaged by the sever winter weather.

Councillor Stuart Pile is Executive Member for Highways and Transport at Hertfordshire County Council. He’s been telling Heart that although the money is good news, it won’t be enough:

“Spread over the many local authorities, it probably is not going to mean more than £1-2 million at the very most. It’s going to be distributed over road length, but that takes no account of Hertfordshire’s problems with lots and lots of extra traffic, including heavy duty vehicles, that wear the road out.

“In January, we repaired around about 3,500 potholes, and that cost us something over half a million pounds just to do that in one month. The year up to the end of January - from February last year to January this year - we went out 22,000 times, and that cost us £4.3 million just on potholes.”

Chris White is the Leader of the opposition for the council and says:

“This money is a help, but really it is just like cold tar filling a pothole. Underinvestment over the last few years, coupled with badly managed and costly contracts and three bad winters, means huge numbers of Hertfordshire’s roads are falling to pieces.

“This money is the equivalent to £2 per person – so while welcome it won’t solve the problem especially if councils don’t change the way they fix the roads.”

Heart’s been told that an extra £6.4 million is being put into highways maintenance for 2011/2012 - over the past few years the Council has spent around £70 million keeping the roads in the county up to scratch.

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