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Programme of road repairs begins in Dorset

A £5.8m pound project to repair Dorset's roads will get underway today. The council's highways teams will be fixing roads which were damaged by the winter storms, and filling in potholes.

In the meantime other highways teams will be temporarily repairing potholes to ensure that roads that are in the maintenance plan remain safe for road users.

Permanent pothole and road defect repair will also continue on roads that are in a good overall condition.

We are repairing long sections of A and B roads, together with shorter, trickier C and D roads. The lower class roads are strategically important for Dorset, but they often give us difficult logistic problems with the size of the machinery that we use. The Government want us to use this emergency fund by the summer holidays. This may mean that we only have a short-time to inform local residents that this is happening in their area - so please be patient, we will do our best to keep people up-to-date."

– Andrew Martin, head of highways

It's important for us to maintain Dorset roads for the benefit of the economy. The tight deadline the Government has given us means that we have to work quickly to take advantage of this fund. The county council will continue to bid for more funding from the Government to help address the funding gap between what we need and what we have received. As always I would caution drivers to adapt their driving to the conditions of the road and take care on roads that have deteriorated."

– Cllr Peter Finney, Cabinet member for environment and economy

Pothole crisis as road repair cost continues to spiral

They are blighting our roads like never before. Damaging cars and costing drivers hundreds of pounds in repairs. But council's in the south say the full cost of dealing with potholes following the winter weather isn't yet known and is continuing to mount up.

In Hampshire, repairs to flood-damaged roads are already costing up to £36m. In Surrey, it's £15m and also expected to rise. Meanwhile, 400 potholes a week are being fixed on the Isle of Wight and 10 thousand potholes have been fixed in West Sussex since January.

Motoring groups say £140m pounds of emergency funding from the government to tackle the crisis is just a fraction of what's needed. As Charlotte Wilkins reports.