Young Reporter Funding to fix Cambridgeshire’s potholes Alex Holt …
Following the government’s announcement that part of the high-speed HS2 rail line had been cancelled, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced how he plans to spend part of the estimated £100 billion saved by cancelling the key infrastructure project.
In this new spending plan, the government has promised to allocate £8.3 billion of funding to local councils in order to allow them to fix potholes. In this funding, the Department for Transport has said that local authorities in England will receive an increase in funding of £150 million for road repairs this year. The same amount is expected to be granted in 2024 and 2025.
Local councils in England have suggested that the actual cost of road repairs would be a total £14 billion, a figure which is £5.7 billion below that which has been promised by the government. However, the Department for Transport had already announced an additional £5.5 billion in funding for road repairs prior to the scrapping of HS2.
Many motorists across Cambridgeshire have long complained of poor road conditions which has been reported to cause over a billion pounds in damages in a year nationwide. One estimate, the Pothole Impact Tracker, published by Kwik Fit in March 2021 states that in the previous year, potholes were responsible for over £1.3 billion in damages in the UK.
Damages from a pothole was also suggested to cost drivers an estimated £440 to be repaired, according to data from the RAC. This figure is approximately 14% of a monthly income for someone working in Cambridge, based on 2022 median salary data from Cambridge City Council.
According to Transport Secretary Mark Harper, it is down to each local authority to choose how to allocate the fund but said it should be used to "improve the quality of road surfaces in the future".