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Transport Secretary: 'Potholes are the bane of our lives'

Among councils to get an extra slice of money set aside to mend potholes is Northamptonshire, which will get £3.3 million after it set up systems to track pothole repairs in real time, allowing it to deploy teams and co-ordinate work more effectively.

Potholes are the bane of all our lives and the funding announced today is an important step in ridding our roads of this menace.

But it is only one part of a massive programme of investment to get our country up to speed as part of this government's long term economic plan.

By building, repairing and renewing our key infrastructure we will ensure the future growth and prosperity of this country.

– Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin

Hampshire, where new pothole-fixing equipment can be converted to salt icy roads in winter, gets around £6 million, while Lancashire will receive £4.9 million.

Some £10 million is also earmarked for London, the Department for Transport said. The money must be used to repair potholes or ensure that they do not appear in the first place. Councils will also have to publish updates on works every three months, and all work has to be completed by March 2015.

£168 million set aside to mend potholes on UK roads

A greater share of a multi-million pound fund being set aside to repair the country's potholes is to be handed to England's "model" councils.

More than three million potholes will be filled in by March next year as part of the biggest investment in roads since the 1970s.

£168 million set aside to mend potholes on UK roads. Credit: PA

The Government has set aside £168 million to mend the nation's broken roads, spread across 148 councils. Coucils will get a share, but extra will be given to those demonstrating "best practice in highways maintenance", including bringing in specialist machinery or setting up dedicated repair teams.

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Traffic lights to stay red for longer to assist pensioners

Traffic lights will stay red for longer to enable the UK's growing number of pensioners time to cross the road, the Telegraph reports.

The government is reviewing crossing times across the country. Credit: PA Wire

Transport minister Robert Goodwill said more crossing systems will in future include sensors so that the traffic lights stay red for longer if someone is taking a long time to cross the street.

Officials are also considering plans for Transport for London for a new type of crossing that detects how many people are waiting on the pavement in order to determine how long traffic needs to be stopped for. A Government source told the Telegraph:

“It is right that we look at how we can use better technology to make crossing safer - particularly for some elderly or vulnerable pedestrians who may welcome slightly more crossing time.”

Councils 'trapped in an endless cycle of road repairs'

The Local Government Association says today's report on the rising cost of road repairs shows the severe difficulties councils face maintaining the road network.

Keeping our roads safe is one of the most important jobs councils do and they have worked hard to fix another 2 million potholes this year despite deep funding cuts and multi-million pound compensation costs for pothole damage.

The Government has responded to our calls for extra funding to repair our roads in recent months but it is simply not enough to free councils trapped in an endless cycle of only being able to patch up our deteriorating network. This will always be more expensive than longer-term preventative work.

Read: £12bn 'catch up cost' of plugging potholes

Drivers angry over potholes on Britain's roads

A new report estimates the "catch-up" cost of repairing potholes and getting the local road network back into reasonable condition has risen to £12 billion.

Visitors to ITV News' Facebook page have been sharing their experiences of pothole damage.

Countless tyre damage due to potholes. Bumpy awful journeys. The roads are in a dreadful condition, even motorways. Very dangerous at high speed. About time the government spent the money in the right places!

– Carole Mallett

I stopped counting the potholes in one road the other day! Got fed up!

It's shocking.

– Eve Van Eyk

I hit a pothole and it destroyed my inner wheel. As they were custom-made I couldn't afford to fix them so had to sell the car.

– Cheryl Young

Add your comments on our Facebook page here.

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LGA: Britain 'facing a roads crisis'

Britain is "facing a roads crisis escalating at an alarming pace" which is exacerbated by every bout of severe weather and following years of underfunding, according to a local government campaigner.

Peter Box, the chairman of the LGA's economy and transport board, criticised the findings of a report into the UK's pothole crisis and warned:

Councils have long warned that our already dilapidated road network could not cope with another extreme winter and the unprecedented recent flooding experienced across the country has left behind a trail of destruction to our highways.

– Peter Box

Read: AA: Britain's roads 'unfit for purpose'

AA: Britain's roads 'unfit for purpose'

One of Britain's major insurers, the AA, has hit out at a report on the depth of the pothole crisis and warned Britain's roads are "ill-prepared for the economic recovery" and "unfit for purpose".

AA president Edmund King explained:

Our new data, along with the AIA Survey, shows that Britain's roads are ill-prepared for the economic recovery and unfit for purpose for many road users, such as cyclists and motorcyclists.

It is unacceptable that each winter, whether it is frost or rain, our roads are crumbling and give way too easily.

– Edmund King

Damage to vehicle claims 'rose by 20%' in 2013

Claims for personal injury or damage to a vehicle rose by 20% during 2013 in England and Wales, according to experts.

The Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) also found:

  • Every local council outside London were facing an extra average of 540 per claim per local council in England and 141 for every authority in Wales.
  • The total cost of compensation claims due to poor road condition, including the cost of staff time spent processing them, amounted to £31.6 million across England and Wales over the last year.
  • Payouts on claims accounted for only £16.6 million of this, with the remaining £15 million (up from £13 million) being staff costs incurred by local authorities processing claims.

Read: Experts warn of £12bn 'catch up cost' for filling potholes

Experts warn of £12bn 'catch up cost' for filling potholes

The "catch up cost" of filling the potholes plaguing Britain's roads would be £12bn, with much of the work done to repair damaged roads undone by winter's heavy rainfall, experts have warned in a report.

Read: £200 million fund for local councils to help fix potholes

Potholes
The AIA said that much of the pothole work done over the last 12 months had been counteracted by the ultra-high winter 2014 rainfall level. Credit: PA

Read: £140 million to mend roads damaged by wettest winter

Getting the roads back into a reasonable condition was thought to cost £10.5bn last year, but according to a report from the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) the cost has continued to rise to an average of £90m per local council.

The cost of restoring the roads to a reasonable condition has risen by 30% since last year, despite local councils filling more than two million potholes over the last twelve months.

This was despite a 20% decrease in the shortfall in annual road maintenance budgets reported by local authorities, with the shortfall reducing from an average of £6.2 million to £5.1 million per authority in England.

The figures were greeted with alarm by motoring groups and also by the Local Government Association (LGA) which said the country was facing a "roads crisis escalating at an alarming pace".

Read: Britain has 'pothole epidemic'

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