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By Ian Dipple Thursday 27 December 2012 Updated: 30/12 19:47
MORE than £3million extra has been given to the county council to improve the state of Worcestershire’s roads.
The funding is the county’s share of the additional £333million the Chancellor made available in his Autumn statement to repair, renew and extend the life of roads across England.
From next April Worcestershire County Council will receive just over £2.1million and more than £1.1million in 2014/15, on top of the normal funding it receives from the Government. This year it spent close to £29million on highway maintenance.
The money can be used for road resurfacing, maintenance to bridges or repairing damage to highways caused by severe weather such as the recent flooding. A condition of accepting the money means the council will have to publish a statement on its website at the end of the financial year explaining to residents how the extra funds have been spent.
Transport minister Patrick McLoughlin said: “This extra money will support economic growth and development by helping local authorities in the West Midlands to get the best out of their local road networks.”
Coun John Smith, responsible for highways and transport on the council, said the funds would be added to the existing maintenance programme and would be spent on general road repairs or specific projects.
“A huge amount of work has been carried out over the past three years to improve and repair the road network across the county, and we’re very proud of the achievements in this area,” he said.
“But of course the work isn’t over yet as we continue to work to maintain and extend the life of our roads, and the extra funds awarded by the Government will support us in this.”
The additional funding was welcomed by Worcester MP Robin Walker who also urged the council to bid for more cash from the Government to tackle congestion ‘pinch points’ in Worcestershire.
“Given the recent floods and the damage that they have caused as well as the threat of an icy winter, I am sure this money will be well used,” he said.
“I would also like to see our county bidding for more support in addressing bottlenecks and helping to unblock pinch points in our highways network. I know that the county council and district councils have already clubbed together to make sure a significant chunk of their new homes bonus money goes into improvements to the Southern Link. I would certainly support them in bidding to the pinch points fund for more funding for this vital artery.”
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