£2.8m to fill in re­gion’s pot­holes

Middleton Guardian - - FRONT PAGE -

AL­MOST £3m has been handed to Greater Manch­ester to patch up more than 60,000 pot­holes.

The gov­ern­ment cash - from a £100m pot - will be used to fill and re­pair roads left dam­aged by an ‘un­usu­ally pro­longed spell of freez­ing weather’ dur­ing Storm Emma and last month’s ‘Beast from the East’. Greater Manch­ester has been given £2.8m.

The Depart­ment for Trans­port said the £100m will fix al­most two mil­lion pot­holes and pro­tect roads from more bad weather, with more than 60,000 de­fects be­ing sorted in Greater Manch­ester.

The move comes just days af­ter a re­port found a fifth of lo­cal roads in Eng­land and Wales were in a poor con­di­tion and warned that coun­cils faced a fund­ing black hole to main­tain car­riage­ways.

Bolton will get £318,470; Bury £200,241, Manch­ester £438,956; Old­ham £269,365; Rochdale £247,494; Sal­ford £268,154; Stock­port £297,212; Tame­side £228,036; Traf­ford £244,119 and Wi­gan £369,956.

The money is on top of £75m in gov­ern­ment fund­ing al­ready given to coun­cils, in­clud­ing town halls in Greater Manch­ester, from a ‘pot­hole ac­tion fund’ ear­lier this year - as well as a £46m boost an­nounced just be­fore Christ­mas.

Coun­cils across the re­gion are al­ready putting huge amounts of cash into road re­pairs - in­clud­ing in Old­ham, where £6m is be­ing spent this year; Traf­ford, where £14m is planned over three years and Manch­ester, where £100m is due to be spent over five years.

MPs, how­ever, wel­comed the lat­est pot of cash, but some warned it will do lit­tle.

Ash­ton-un­der-Lyne MP An­gela Rayner said: “While any new money to re­pair pot­holes on north west roads is wel­come the amount of cash is tiny com­pared to what is needed af­ter many years of cuts.”

Martin Tett, the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion’s trans­port spokesman, said: “It is pos­i­tive that the gov­ern­ment has lis­tened to coun­cils and made more fund­ing avail­able to help re­pair lo­cal roads which have been af­fected by the re­cent se­vere win­ter weather.

“How­ever, the fund­ing an­nounced today will pro­vide just over one per cent of what is needed to tackle our cur­rent £9.3bn lo­cal roads re­pair back­log.”

He warned that coun­cils are likely to need more sup­port from the gov­ern­ment as the full ex­tent of the re­pairs needed af­ter the freez­ing weather be­comes clear.

A pot­hole in Grey Street, Mid­dle­ton

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