Cash will improve county roads

SUFFOLK is getting an extra �400,000 to assess the extent of the growing number of potholes in the roads - just a couple of weeks after the Evening Star highlighted the appalling state of the county's roads.

SUFFOLK is getting an extra �400,000 to assess the extent of the growing number of potholes in the roads - just a couple of weeks after the Evening Star highlighted the appalling state of the county's roads.

The severe winter weather last month left Suffolk motorists having to negotiate hundreds of new potholes, with parts of Ipswich, Stowmarket and Felixstowe being labelled “notorious pothole hotspots” in a nationwide survey conducted by the AA.

It left highways bosses little alternative but to find �150,000 to carry out a crash programme of filling in crumbling road surfaces,

Suffolk's allocation is part of an extra �2.6m which ministers have made available across the East of England to enable councils to fulfil the Government's requirement for strategic assessment of roads and bridges.

The money will help councils to gather important information on their streetlights, bridges, roads and other assets, in order to manage them as effectively as possible.

It is being paid in response to bids from local authorities across the East of England.

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Transport minister Paul Clark said: “I am very pleased at the extremely high level of interest from local authorities in this funding. It demonstrates a real understanding of the importance of asset management in delivering a good service to the public.

"High quality local highways are vital to communities; connecting people with work, shops, services, families and friends.”

Guy McGregor, spokesman for environment and transport at the county council, said the cash allocation had been ring-fenced, which meant it had to be spent on an audit of the state of highways and bridges. He pledged the cash would be spread across the county.

“We are acutely aware that the bad weather this winter has damaged our roads and we are repairing them as fast as we can. Safety is paramount and all damage to our roads should be reported to the county council so that we can deal with it,” said Mr McGregor.

The extra cash is being given by the Government for spending between now and March 2010.

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