The Department for Transport (DfT) has allocated £1.2 billion of local roads funding to councils across England. Local authorities are today (13 January) finding out their share of the pot for the 2017 to 2018 financial year, with Transport Minister Andrew Jones commenting: “Roads play a significant part in everyday life linking people with jobs and businesses with customers, which is why this government is investing record amounts improving and maintaining highways across the country to help motorists.
“The funding we have allocated today is focused on relieving congestion and providing important upgrades to ensure our roads are fit for the future – helping to build an economy that works for everyone.
The funding to improve roads, cut congestion and improve journey times includes money from the new National Productivity Investment Fund, announced in the Autumn Statement and the Pothole Action Fund. It also includes £75 million which councils can bid for to repair and maintain local infrastructure such as bridges, street lighting and rural roads.
In a further effort to reduce the number of potholes the Department for Transport (DfT) will begin a new innovative trial, in partnership with Thurrock and York Councils which could revolutionise the way potholes are identified and managed. A pothole-spotter system, mounted to refuse collection vehicles, comprising of high-definition cameras, integrated navigation system and intelligent software will be deployed to identify road surface problems before they become potholes.
Following the announcement last week that the government will build 200,000 homes, the DfT will also support plans for a new motorway junction on the M11, near Harlow in Essex. This will help to ensure the delivery of 15,000 homes and support continued growth in the local economy. The new junction, to be known as Junction 7A, will sit to the north of Harlow, and will cut several minutes from journeys to Stansted and Cambridge.
The £1.2 billion for the 2017 to 2018 financial year consists of:
- £210m from the National Productivity Investment Fund. From this, £185m will be allocated in the 2017 to 2018 financial year to local highway authorities in England, outside London, to improve local highways and public transport networks with the remainder of the funding of £25m being available for safer roads to help tackle some of the most dangerous A-roads
- £801m to be shared across local highway authorities in England, outside London, to help improve the condition of local roads
- £70m to be shared across local highway authorities in England, outside London, from the Pothole Action Fund which will help repair over 1.3 million potholes
- £75m from the Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund, inviting local highway authorities in England, outside London, to compete for funding to help repair and maintain local highway infrastructure, such as bridges, lighting and rural roads
- £75m from the Highways Maintenance Incentive Element which invites to complete a self-assessment questionnaire in order to reward those who demonstrate they truly understand the value of their asset.
Further details of roads funding allocations for local authorities can be found here.