Harrogate MP secures £5.1m boost to improve county's roads

Harrogate and Knaresborough's MP has welcomed a £5.1 million funding boost to keep roads across the county well maintained and safe.

Friday, 13th January 2017, 4:00 pm
Updated Friday, 13th January 2017, 4:06 pm
Transport Minister Andrew Jones MP

Transport Minister and Harrogate MP, Andrew Jones, has helped to secure £1.2 billion in government funding to improve roads and cut congestion across the country.

The billion-pound boost will see North Yorkshire County Council receive £5.1 million more than it expected in funds to tackle road issues across the county.

The funding has come in addition to another £2.3 million funding boost which was announced just over a month ago as specifically for potholes across North Yorkshire.

Mr Jones said: "Today the Government is making an announcement for a better roads package right across the country.

"It totals £1.2 billion, what that means for North Yorkshire, our area, is £33.8 million for the next financial year starting in just a few months time."

With both multi-million boosts to NYCC's financial pot, the authority has 28 per cent more than it anticipated in funds for highways maintenance for the coming year.

Potholes are often a controversial area for councils across the country as so many roads are plagued by them.

But Mr Jones stressed that this new funding was not just to fill potholes, but to be more proactive in methods to prevent problems on the roads.

He said: "We have many highways requirements in our area. We haven't said to councils that this is especially for potholes but it is for roads maintenance including potholes.

"I don't want them to just think about potholes and fixing them, I want them to think about how they can prevent potholes by being proactive, resurfacing roads before potholes begin and be forward thinking.

"We, like the rest of the country have a backlog of potholes waiting to be addressed. Some of this is about looking back and some of this is about looking forward.

"We are trying to change the whole industry to be more active."

In a rural county like North Yorkshire, Mr Jones said the funding was much needed and would be welcomed my residents and businesses.

He said: "I think this funding is welcome news for the people who live in our area - families and businesses, they rely on our roads to get around, to get to work.

"We have a very large road network and a low population base to support it, which is why the county needs extra money from the government to support it."