DRIVERS in Uttoxeter can breathe a huge sight of relief after millions of pounds were earmarked to repair pothole-riddled roads in the area.
Staffordshire County Council was handed £2,131,285 from a government pot of £183.5 million allocated to help improve the condition roads after they were battered during recent bad weather.
Motorists have been further boosted by plans announced during the Budget to hand out an extra £200 million during 2014-15 to combat the problem.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Damage to roads causes misery for drivers and local communities and the severe weather over the last few months has made the problem worse.
“This extra money will help make a real difference to the millions of road users and residents across England who rely on local roads, giving them safer and smoother journeys.”
The cash is an emergency payment from the government to help with road repairs following the wettest winter on record, and will pay for the repair of 3.3 million potholes across the entire country.
The additional money has been allocated on a formula basis, and is being distributed now to ensure that authorities can make use of it as soon as possible and complete works before the school summer holidays.
Councillor Simon Tagg, cabinet support member for transport and the connected county, said: “An effective and well maintained road network in Staffordshire is at the centre of our commitment to bring jobs and prosperity to the county and any extra boost to tackle problems like potholes is always welcome.
“In welcoming the additional funding, we recognise the need for a more longer term investment in our road network which will be key to the country’s future economic growth.
“As a county council we have already invested an additional £50 million of local money in improving our road network. In a county as vast as Staffordshire maintaining and improving roads is an on-going challenge, so extra funding from Government is more than welcome.
”Our highways crews currently fix more than 300 potholes a week and we will be exploring the best ways to invest this to get the maximum return for the county’s roads and for Staffordshire residents.”
The investment comes after the wettest winter on record in parts of the UK last year which caused widespread devastation to sections of the road and rail network.
The extra money is to be spent on carrying out immediate repairs such as fixing potholes, and increasing preventative maintenance of roads to ensure that there is less need for emergency or large scale repairs in the future.
Roads across Uttoxeter earmarked for improvement include Town Meadows Way, Derby Road, Church Street, Leighton Road, Sunnyside Road, St Mary’s Crescent and Cockstubbles.
Those wishing to report a pothole should go to www.staffordshire.gov.uk