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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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‘Cash pot’ of £3m to tackle Cumbria pothole blight

A SURGE in road repairs to tackle Cumbria’s pothole scourge is under way after the county received more than £3m from a new emergency government cash pot.

Cumbria County Council got the funding following Chancellor George Osborne’s decision to allocate £100m to help repair the nation’s winter damaged roads in his budget.

The authority said it was doing all it can to ensure the additional money is wisely spent to deal with the problem over the coming months. Councillor Keith Little, cabinet member for highways and transport, said the allocation would make “a tremendous difference”.

He said: “Along the west coast from Allerdale, Silloth,the bottom of Carlisle area, right down to the southern end of the county, we did suffer quite a bit of damage over the bad winter period.

“So this will make a significant difference in our ability to deal with this fairly quickly and get them put back to where they need to be so our highways are safe for road users. We’re still doing some major pieces of work and our workforce are tied up on those at the moment. But nevertheless, we have our crews carrying out regular maintenance and repairing potholes is a priority for us at the moment.”

Motorists could be in line for further good news, as the council has submitted a bid for £1.8m to a separate £80m government funding pot to repair roads. And the council will be making a bid for further additional funding from a £200m potholes challenge fund announced by the government last month, once it has received further guidance on the bidding process from the Department for Transport.

However, Cllr Little said the fruits of the £3m already secured should already be visible. He said: “Anybody out there on the highway will see that the work is being done. The difficulty with all of this is that roads are under a great deal of pressure with traffic. Everybody uses them so we are suffering damage the whole time. It’s a case of keeping on top of it, but we need to catch up on it as well.”

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