North East to receive over £3.9m for road improvements in the region

Region set to receive over £3.9m for road improvements Credit: PA

As part of national funding, the North East is set to receive a share of £1.2billion to improve roads across the region.

Councils across England are finding out today, January 13th, about their share of £1.2billion local roads funding for the 2017/18 financial year, Transport Minister Andrew Jones has announced.

The funding to improve roads, cut congestion and improve journey times includes money from the new National Productivity Investment Fund, announced in the Autumn Statement and the Pothole Action Fund. It also includes £75m which councils can bid for to repair and maintain local infrastructure such as bridges, street lighting and rural roads.

The North East will be allocated over £3.9m, enough to fix around 74,000 potholes in 2017/18, or stop them forming in the first place. This funding is over and above the £45m councils are already committed to providing in 2017/18 to help repair the region's local highways.

From the £175m being made available for road safety, the Department for Transport is inviting proposals from local highway authorities to upgrade some of the most dangerous local roads in the North East area where the risk of fatal and serious collisions is highest, based on analysis by the Road Safety Foundation.

The roads eligible for this funding in this region are:

  • A67 - A66 Bowes - Barnard Castle in Durham

  • A1290 - A182 Usworth - A19 West Bolden in Sunderland

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said:

In a further effort to reduce the number of potholes the Department for Transport will begin a new trial, in partnership with Thurrock and York Councils, which could change the way potholes are identified and managed.

A pothole-spotter system, mounted to refuse collection vehicles, comprising of high-definition cameras, integrated navigation system and intelligent software will be deployed to identify road surface problems before they become potholes.

So what does the overall £1.2billion for 2017/18 consist of? Here is a breakdown:

  • £210 million from the National Productivity Investment Fund announced in the Autumn Statement when the Chancellor committed to invest an extra £1.3bn improving the road network over the course of the Parliament. From this, £185 million will be allocated in 2017/18 to local highway authorities in England, outside London, to improve local highways and public transport networks with the remainder of the funding of £25 million being available for safer roads to help tackle some of the most dangerous A roads;

  • £801 million to be shared across local highway authorities in England, outside London, to help improve the condition of local roads;

  • £70 million to be shared across local highway authorities in England, outside London, from the Pothole Action Fund which will help repair over 1.3 million potholes;

  • £75 million from the Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund, inviting local highway authorities in England, outside London, to compete for funding to help repair and maintain local highway infrastructure, such as bridges, lighting and rural roads.

  • £75 million from the Highways Maintenance Incentive Element which invites to complete a self-assessment questionnaire in order to reward those who demonstrate they truly understand the value of their asset.