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UK's Department for Transport provides extra funding for pothole repair and four local projects

The UK's Department for Transport (DfT) has informed councils how they will benefit from the doubling of funding available for repairing potholes, which was announced in last week's Budget. Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, has written to all 153 English local highway authorities to inform them of their share of £200 million (US$319 million).

The DfT announced in February that it was making available £100 million (US$159 million), as an exceptional payment to help with much-needed road repairs following the severe weather at the end of 2010. The extra funding was made possible because of savings the department made earlier in the financial year. However, further savings have now been identified and therefore more money has been made available for this vital program.

Hammond said, “Potholes are a menace to all road users, and I want councils to make fixing them a priority. That is why, when more funding became available, I agreed with the Chancellor that we would double the amount of money we are providing for repairs to be carried out. This represents a significant investment in road maintenance at a time of severe fiscal restraint, demonstrating the government’s commitment to maintain our infrastructure to support motorists and businesses.” The funding is in addition to the £831 million (US$1.3 billion) already provided to councils for road maintenance this year, and the £3 billion (US$4.8 billion) the government has committed over the next four years.

The DfT has also announced that four local authority Private Finance Initiative (PFI) projects have been allowed to progress, after cost savings amounting to more than 21% were identified. Transport Minister, Norman Baker, has announced that central and local government has worked in partnership to save £209 million (US$333 million) within the spending review period. This will now allow an extension to the Nottingham tram, together with highways maintenance improvements in Sheffield, Hounslow, and the Isle of Wight, to continue to the next stage of the funding approval process. Baker said, “This government is committed to delivering an effective, sustainable, and high-quality transport network across the country, despite the tough economic conditions. By vigorously pursuing cost reductions, we can invest in a greater number of key local infrastructure projects, which help boost the economy and jobs, thanks to the benefits these projects provide in their local areas.”
 

March 28, 2011

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