Salisbury JournalPothole payout for 'model' councils (From Salisbury Journal)

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Pothole payout for 'model' councils

Salisbury Journal: A multi-million pound fund is being set up to tackle potholes A multi-million pound fund is being set up to tackle potholes

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

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

The Government has set aside £168 million to mend the nation's broken roads, spread across 148 councils.

Each council will get a share, but extra will be given to those which demonstrate "best practice in highways maintenance", including bringing in specialist machinery or setting up dedicated repair teams.

Among these are 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.

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 so residents can see how repairs are progressing, and all work has to be completed by March 2015.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "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."

The £168 million pothole funding was announced by Chancellor George Osborne in March's Budget, and is on top of the the extra £185 million the government made available that month to help repair local roads damaged by severe weather.

Some £24 billion will be spent on England's motorways and A-roads between 2010 and 2021, the biggest investment in the road network since the 1970s.

The Government said a further £7.4 billion would committed to local roads in the next Parliament, along with funding from the £12 billion Local Growth Fund.

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