POTHOLES in North Yorkshire are being targeted by the Government, with an extra £6.6m given to the county council to fight the problem.
Coun Gareth Dadd, executive member for highways, took the unusual step of writing directly to the Secretary of State for Transport, Philip Hammond, earlier this month, to point out that North Yorkshire’s highways network was hit harder than most by the severe weather of the last two winters.
Now Mr Hammond has announced that North Yorkshire’s share of new emergency funding will be increased from last year.
The money is part of an additional £200m handed out to tackle the problem this year.
Coun Dadd’s letter to the Secretary of State followed two exceptionally severe winters, which caused considerable damage across North Yorkshire – the largest county in England, and the one with the longest highways network.
“Many of our roads are in higher altitudes, for example in the Dales and the North York Moors, where inevitably the weather conditions are more severe than in lowland districts,” Coun Dadd said
“We ended the winter with a repairs bill of around £36m, so while this additional support from the Government is very welcome, it must be remembered that there is an awful lot of repair work to be done.”
On a like-for-like basis, the council would have expected to receive £5.184m from the special funding. In the event, it has been given £6.632m, an increase of over 25 per cent.
The county council will shortly be confirming the areas that will be addressed by the extra funding. Safety will take top priority, but Coun Dadd pledged that the council will have “due regard to the needs of the rural road network”.
The Advertiser series has been inundated with letters about the potholes issue over the past two years.
Last June, Clem Dye of Hookstone Chase said potholes were an “ever present danger” to cyclists. In January, Ian Birchall of Westminster Drive, Burn Bridge, called for more money to be directed towards solving the problem.