Minister unveils £140m road package

Minister unveils £140m road package

The Government has announced a £140 million package to fix Britain's road network after a record wet winter.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has increased funding for the worst-hit areas from £36.5 million to £80 million.

Councils across England will share a £103.5 million fund to fix potholes and other dangers facing drivers.

Council executives demanded the emergency fund to deal with the "daunting trail of destruction" that has been caused by recent flooding.

Most local authorities are expected to receive the money by the end of this week to allow them to complete the necessary works before the summer holidays.

Councils must publish details on their websites by the end of August of how the money has been used.

The Department for Transport's budget said that the money - which has taken the total budget to £1 billion for 2013/14 - had been found due to savings made elsewhere over the course of the year.

"Having the right infrastructure in place to support businesses and hardworking people is a crucial part of our long-term economic plan," Mr McLoughlin said.

"This extra money will help make a real difference to the millions of road users and local residents who rely on local roads, giving them safer and smoother journeys."

A survey of councils by the Sunday Telegraph found that there has been a significant increase in compensation claims made by drivers who hit potholes last year.

At least 40,000 claims were made, the newspaper said, but the average compensation received dropped to around a sixth of the average level in 2012.

Copyright Press Association 2014