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Councils to make pothole ‘pledge’ for extra funding

Councils have just under a month to bid for a share of the government’s £168m Pothole Fund, but to get the extra repair cash they will have to sign a ‘pledge’ setting out the number of potholes they will have repaired by March 2015. 

According to the DfT, the £168m fund, announced in the Budget, is enough to fix more than three million potholes. It is also being provided in addition to the £10bn for local roads maintenance that the DfT is already providing to councils in England between 2010 and 2021. 

But to qualify, local authorities must answer a number of yes/no answers about their highway network. If bids provide a 'yes' answer to one of the questions then the DfT will wish to see “further evidence” to corroborate the answer. 

Depending on the overall total score a final funding amount will be determined and this will be proportionate to each local highway authority's road length. Once all bids have been assessed and scores have been calculated, the DfT will contact each authority with a funding offer. 

Once the offer is made local authorities will then be required to confirm within 48 hours the total number of potholes they will repair by end March 2015 on their highway network. 

And, on top of this, to be eligible for funding the DfT will require each authority to sign a 'pothole pledge', and agree to provide a monthly progress report to the Department setting out how many potholes they have fixed from the total number. When a pothole pledge has been signed, the Department's final agreed funding award will be provided. 

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “I want councils to rise to the challenge and to reward councils who come up with new and better ways of making repairs quickly and effectively. 

“With this new pothole fund councils will need to clearly set out the scale of the work they are doing, and local communities can have certainty that the money is being spent fixing potholes on their local roads.” 

Local highway authorities in England which currently receive highways maintenance block funding from the DfT are eligible for the extra funding and have until 4pm on Thursday 22 May 2014 to apply

(Image of potholes: Copyright Danny Lawson/PA Wire) 

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