MORE than £42m of Government funding for Yorkshire’s crumbling roads has been labelled as a “sporadic one-off sticking plaster solution” by the leader of the region’s biggest local authority.
Leeds City Council leader Coun Judith Blake said the £3.86m allocated to the authority from a £420m fund announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in the budget last month, was “no quick fix” and a significant shortfall remained in the funding required to clear the current backlog of highway maintenance required in the city.
She also raised concerns that the proposed timescale for the allocation of the funding - before the end of the financial year - could be “extremely difficult to achieve”.
Whilst welcoming the funding, she added: “If we are to make significant improvements in the long-term, there is no quick fix and more national funding needs to be provided consistently, rather than as sporadic one-off sticking plaster solutions like this, to ensure that the demands of the city’s highway maintenance programme continue to be met.”
In total, Yorkshire authority’s are to receive £42m, a tenth of the spend across the country, Roads Minister Jesse Noman said today.
It brings the total Government funds for roads in Yorkshire and the Humber for this year up to £138m.
North Yorkshire, which has 5,800 miles of roads, is to receive the largest share of the new money, £13.7m; while East Riding will receive £4.9m and Doncaster £2.3m.
North East Lincolnshire receives the smallest amount, just short of £900,000, and Hull will receive £998,000.
Coun Daren Hale, Hull City Council’s portfolio holder for major projects and infrastructure, said: “Whilst the funding is welcomed, it sadly falls well short of what is needed.”
North Yorkshire’s executive member for highways, Coun Don Mackenzie, said the funding would make a “significant contribution” to repairing the county’s roads on top of the additional £8m the county council has contributed from its own funds in recent years, and the £24m for the rural roads network provided through the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
Council leader Coun Carl Les said he was “very pleased” with the news, as “it proves the Government is listening to our concerns, expressed directly and through our MPs”.
As part of the announcement, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Sheffield have also been shortlisted for the Transforming Cities Fund to bid for a share of £860m for improved transport connections.
Mr Noman said the pothole cash would help to keep Yorkshire’s “drivers and cyclists safe.”
He added: “Potholes are a huge problem for all road users, and too often we see issues occurring at the same place time after time.