Millions of people will enjoy smoother, safer, and faster road journeys thanks to the biggest ever road resurfacing programme to improve local roads in the South West.
On Friday, 17th November, Transport Secretary Mark Harper set out the allocations of an £8.3 billion national long-term plan, enough to resurface over 5,000 miles of road across the country over the next 11 years. It’s one of the key cornerstones of Network North to improve journeys for all.
Local highway authorities in the South West, including in Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Somerset and the West of England Combined Authority, will each receive a share of the £800 million which they can use to identify what local roads are in most need of repair and deliver immediate improvements for communities and residents.
Across the South West, local highway authorities will receive £25.5 million this financial year, followed by a further £25.5 million for 2024/2025, with the rest of the funding allocated through to 2034.
We’ve already confirmed £5.5 billion for 2020/21 to 2024/25 for England outside London, which includes the £200 million announced by the Chancellor at the Budget in March. Today’s £8.3 billion nationwide boost comes on top of that and extends until 2034, providing long-term certainty to local authorities and helping to prevent potholes from coming back in the future.
The funding also comes on top of the local transport, road and rail budgets allocated at the last Spending Review and in addition to what local authorities were already expecting for the next decade.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:
“Most people travel by road and potholes can cause misery for motorists, from expensive vehicle repairs to bumpy, slow, and dangerous journeys. Our £800 million boost to repair roads across the South West shows that we’re on the side of drivers.
“Today’s biggest ever funding uplift for local road improvements is a victory for all road users, who will enjoy smoother, faster and safer trips - as we use redirected HS2 funding to make the right long-term decisions for a brighter future.”
According to the RAC, smoother, well-maintained road surfaces could save drivers up to £440 each in expensive vehicle repairs from pothole damage, helping motorists keep more of the cash in their pocket.
This £800 million boost for the South West is particularly important when considering that, according to a survey from the AA, fixing potholes and investing in roads maintenance is a priority for 96% of drivers.
These funds can also help boost road safety and encourage active travel, as smoother road surfaces will make it safer and easier for cyclists to use roads with greater confidence.
Check out the video below to see some recent resurfacing work from Bath and North East Somerset Council: