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North Yorkshire County Council has welcomed the receipt of an additional £6.632m funding from the government to tackle the county’s pothole problems.
Councillor Gareth Dadd, the county’s Executive Member for Highways, took the unusual step earlier this month of writing direct to the Secretary of State for Transport, Philip Hammond, to point out that North Yorkshire’s highways network was harder hit than most others by the severe weather of the last two winters.
Now Mr Hammond has announced additional funding of £200m for England and compared to last year North Yorkshire’s share of the emergency funding made available by the Government to tackle the problem has increased.
“On a like-for-like basis, we would have expected to have received £5.184 million from the most recent pot of money announced by Mr Hammond,” said Councillor Dadd.
“In the event, we have been given £6.632m – nearly 28% more than we got last year on a like-for-like calculation.”
Councillor Dadd’s letter to the Secretary of State followed two exceptionally severe winters, which caused considerable damage across North Yorkshire – the largest county in England, and the one with the longest highways network.
“Many of our roads are in higher altitudes, for example in the Dales and the North York Moors, where inevitably the weather conditions are more severe than in lowland districts,” said Councillor Dadd.
“We ended the winter with a repairs bill of around £36 million. So while this additional support from the Government is very welcome, it must be remembered that there is an awful lot of repair work to be done.”
The county council will shortly be confirming the areas that will be addressed by the extra funding Safety will take top priority in drawing up the schedule, but Councillor Dadd pledged that the council will have due regard to the needs of the rural road network.