Damaged roads fixed with £2.2m blitz fund
Kent is getting another cash injection to fix thousands of potholes this spring.
The government is shelling out £2.2 million to Kent County Council from a shared national pot to tackle damaged roads.
According to the Department for Transport’s own analysis, with an extra £300,000 from the local authority the sum will be enough to fix more than 47,000 across its aging road network.
Last year the authority received £1,473,000 from the same fund, which left it with a £500,000 hole to fill after cutting £2m from its road maintenance budget for 2016/17.
Setting out the motion to councillors at a committee meeting on Monday Cllr Matthew Balfour (Con), cabinet member for environment and transport, said work would start sooner than the target of June and use local contractors.
He said: “We should start as soon as we possibly can.
“What we learnt from last time round is that by using our highways stewards to check things, by using our district managers to identify where the work should start we would have the ability to detail and make every pound spend more effective.”
Cllr Mike Baldock ( Ukip) responded, saying: “That sounds very nice and very common sense but I do hope it isn’t code for ‘let’s get our people to make sure all the potholes in those vulnerable seats in Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells are the ones that get all the treatment.’
“I hope it is spread equally across the county in all divisions!”
The Road Surface Treatments Association has launched a petition calling on the government to use an extra 2p per litre of existing fuel duty to tackle potholes.
In 2016, 13,747 holes were reported and workers fixed 28,000 and a similar total the previous year.
A poll of 10,000 people over 50, carried out by Saga Car Insurance found most people believed the state of roads have worsened, while pothole-related damage cost £1,600 on average.
The insurer has paid out £100,000 for damage caused by potholes over the last 12 months.
KCC is to get £2.2m from the government to fix potholes; inset, Cllr Matthew Balfour