Town gets £200k windfall to fix 3,700 potholes

Long-suffering motorists can look forward to smoother journeys after Wigan Council was awarded funding to tackle the scourge of potholes.

Thursday, 7th April 2016, 7:00 am
Wigan Council is to receive £195,000 to fill 3,679 potholes in the borough

The local authority will be able to fill more than 3,500 potholes in the borough with the £195,000 windfall allocated by the Department for Transport (DfT).

Wigan is receiving one of the region’s biggest funding awards to tackle the problem, which will go alongside the £3.2m the local authority has invested over the last financial year on improving highways.

The money is part of the Pothole Action Fund, with the Government recognising public frustration at the state of the roads by dishing out millions of pounds to town halls to fix the gaping holes.

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Wigan is one of 22 councils in the North West to receive a share of a £6.4m regional funding pot, which will fill in around 121,000 potholes between now and next April.

Wigan Council director for economy and environment Karl Battersby said: “We have a high quality well-maintained road network.

“This funding will further enhance the infrastructure and support the needs of our communities and the economic growth of the borough.”

The council says it has carried out 54 re-surfacing and treatment schemes on roads in the last financial year, saying the latter works will help prevent defects such as potholes being created in the first place.

The town hall is also planning to invest a further £3.1m this year on another 55 similar schemes and has allocated £950,000 for repairing minor highway defects and potholes.

The borough’s windfall, which will fill 3,679 potholes, is the second largest in the whole of Greater Manchester, with only Manchester itself receiving more funding.

Bolton has been given the next biggest hand-out, with £170,000 going to fill 3,208 potholes, and Bury receiving the smallest amount with £105,000.

The £250m Pothole Action Fund was included in last month’s Budget and the Government hopes to fill four million potholes across the UK by 2020-21.

Announcing today’s funding, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “I know how important well-maintained roads are to people across the North West. Almost every journey starts and ends on a local road, so the government is giving councils in the North West £6.4 million specifically to tackle the blight of potholes in their area.

“This is just one part of our unprecedented investment in local road maintenance over the next five years. We are giving a record £625m to local authorities in North West that will support the Northern Powerhouse and improve journeys for all.”