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Pothole relief welcomed

Deborah McGurran | 16:56 UK time, Friday, 25 March 2011

Pothole in road

The region's councils are being given £27.5m to repair potholes.

The news will be welcomed by every local authority in the East which has been struggling to keep up with and fund repairs following the harsh winter.

The largest grant, £6.9m, goes to Norfolk. Essex gets £5.3m, Suffolk gets £4.4m and Hertfordhire £3.8m. Cambridgeshire gets £2.6m, Buckinghamshire receives £2.5m and the smaller unitary authorities receive grants ranging from £248,000 to £787,000.

"This is an absolutely tremendous result for Norfolk," said Graham Plant, the council's cabinet member for Travel and Transport.

"This will be welcomed by hard-pressed motorists in the wake of the worst winter for 100 years. The money will be spent on a mixture of pothole repairs, patching and resurfacing work."

"Of course we're pleased," said a spokesperson for Essex County Council, adding that the problem was so great in Essex that the council's teams was repairing 250 potholes a day.

The MP for Bury St Edmunds David Ruffley described the grant for Suffolk as "fantastic", adding there was a particular need to repair potholes along the A14.

"It is a vital highway between the Midlands and the continent," he said. "I am hoping these additional funds will be used wisely."

There is one drawback. The councils have been told they have to spend the money by September.

"We'll be pulling out all the stops to make sure it's spent on time," a Norfolk County Council spokesman said.

"But it's going to mean that there'll be a lot more roadworks than normal over the summer. All we can say to people is 'please be understanding and bear with us'."

Let's hope we remember that when we're stuck in contraflow with a carload of kids in a heatwave...



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