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Region gets £13 million to tackle potholes

The North East and North Yorkshire have been given a £13 million potholes fund. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees
Across England, the Government has given £168 million to 148 councils. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees
It is hoped that three million potholes will be fixed across the country by March 2015. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

More than £13 million of Government money has been made available to fix potholes across the North East and North Yorkshire.

Nearly £8 million is being distributed to North East councils, and over £5 million is being given to North Yorkshire. In total, the Government is giving £168 million to 148 councils in England. They are hoping to fix three million potholes by March 2015.

Pothole 'catch up' costs

The 'catch up' cost of fixing potholes is £12billion, according to a report by the Asphalt Industry Alliance.

The total is an increase on the £10.5billion figure reported last year, despite a 20% decrease in the shortfall in annual road maintenance budgets reported by local authorities.

"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."

– AA president Edmund King

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60 percent of region's motorists say roads are getting worse

A survey has revealed that a third of AA members have suffered damage to their cars from potholes over the last two years, while nearly six in 10 motorists in the North East said roads in the region were worse than they were a year ago.

A third of motorists rated the overall surface condition of their local roads as poor, very poor or terrible in the AA/Populus survey of nearly 23,000 drivers.

Only 10% of those polled rated their local roads very good or excellent, with the lowest ratings going to Scotland, Yorkshire and Humberside.

In north-east England, 59% said conditions were worse, while those saying the roads had improved were greatest in Wales and London.

"This spring our patrols are telling us that potholes are popping up faster than daffodils. This reflects the effects of very wet and frosty weather on poor road surfaces.

"Our findings are deeply worrying and show that UK drivers are once again experiencing a bad pothole season after a lull last spring - perhaps with worse to come. The slight let-up in potholes this time last year may have been just a blip in the annual pothole blight that seems to beset us each spring.

"Ring-fenced finance must be found to plug an increasing gap in highway budgets."

– Edmund King, AA President

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The pothole problem : 2,000 repairs a week and counting

Durham County Council says it's repairing more than 2,000 potholes a week caused by the recent bad weather.

Extra teams are out fixing problems along its 2,000 miles of road.

Helen Ford has been looking how the council is dealing with the pothole problem, and asking whether the spending squeeze is affecting the budget for repairs. Watch her report here:

Durham County Council is urging people to report potholes on its Highway Action Line: 0191 370 6000 or through its website www.durham.gov.uk