Northamptonshire to receive an extra £3.3 million to fix potholes

Conservative MP for Northampton North Michael ellis with Chancellor George Osborne NNL-140619-135149001
Conservative MP for Northampton North Michael ellis with Chancellor George Osborne NNL-140619-135149001

Northamptonshire will receive an extra £3.3 million to fix potholes on the county’s roads, the Department for Transport has announced.

The county is one of 148 local authorities that has received a share of £168 million Pothole Repair Fund announced by Chancellor George Osborne in his last Budget speech.

The local authority is one of three in the country to be given a greater share of the money for demonstrating “model practice”.

Conservative MP for Northampton North Michael Ellis, who has run a high-profile campaign to get more money to fix pothole sin his constituency during the past year, said it was “fantastic” news.

He said: “I have been campaigning for more money to fix the potholes over the past year and the effort has paid off.

“It was an enormous honour to be mentioned in the Chancellor’s keynote budget speech.

“When I did a survey in my constituency this was the issue people cared about an wanted me to do something about.

“When people ask ‘what has my MP done for me’ they will see Northamptonshire has an extra £3.3 million as a direct result of the work I have done.”

The county council will now have to decide which roads it intends to spend the money on and all repair works have to be completed by end March 2015.

Mr Ellis said he would be working closely with the local authority to ensure that some roads in his constituency with a large amount of potholes were among the ones the money would be spent on.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have received this additional money from the government and pleased that there has been a recognition that we’re working hard to find innovative ways of improving the roads while achieving value for money.

“This is a significant contribution to the highways maintenance budget which will be targeted directly at carriageway repairs and we’d like to thank everyone that worked on the bid.

“We recognise that the roads require a great deal of attention as surfaces have suffered due to decades of under investment and a succession of severe winters.

“Despite recent progress we’re also aware that there’s a great deal of work that still needs to be done which will cost many more millions of pounds.”

Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, said it was important to improve the quality of roads in the country to help aid economic growth.

He said: “Potholes are the bane of all our lives and the funding announced today is an important step in ridding our roads of this menace. “But it is only one part of a massive programme of investment to get our country up to speed as part of this Government’s long term economic plan. By building, repairing and renewing our key infrastructure we will ensure the future growth and prosperity of this county.”

Northamptonshire has been commended by the Department for Transport for setting up systems to track pothole repairs in real time, allowing it to co-ordinate work more effectively and make sure teams are deployed efficiently.