£6.1m funding boost for Hampshire's roadsBy James Chapple
December 28, 2012
HAMPSHIRE will be among the greatest beneficiaries of a multi-million pound cash injection designed to boost transport infrastructure outlined in the chancellor’s autumn statement.
Hampshire County Council is in line to receive £6.1m while Surrey County Council will receive an additional £4.2m which is to be spent on road repairs,
In his December 5 statement, the details of which were clarified last week, Tory chancellor George Osborne announced £333m would go on road maintenance and repairs, of which £215m has been allocated for local authorities.
Some £35m will be shared out across the south east – amounting to a funding pot worth in excess of £10m in Surrey and Hampshire, set to be spent on resurfacing and repairs following the winter.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the cash boost would support economic growth and development.
“This extra money will help local authorities to get the best out of their local road networks," he added.
“This funding can be spent on measures to bring smoother, safer and more reliable journeys to the travelling public, whether they are commuting to work or taking the children to school.”
Deputy leader of Hampshire County Council, executive member for transport Mel Kendal, said he welcomed greater funding from central government.
“Highways maintenance is a top priority for the county council on which we spend nearly £60m a year,” he said. “In addition, we made a commitment more than three years ago to invest in a multi-million pound long-term strategy - Operation Resilience.”
Cllr Kendal explained the operation seeks to improve the structural resilience of Hampshire’s roads and footways, adding the money would allow the council to expand the project.
“In the past year alone, we have strengthened more than 150 miles of roads and footways to make them more resilient and better able to withstand the effects of extreme weather and increasing traffic.
“This is underlined by the outcome of the latest national highways and transport survey which reported we are the top county in the south east and second for highways maintenance out of all 22 county councils that participated in the survey.”