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Cash boost for pothole repairs in Sussex
Potholed roads will be repaired and improved thanks to a multimillion pound funding boost.
Councils across Sussex will be handed an extra £6 million for the next two years to extend the life of the county’s weather-beaten highways.
Transport bosses have welcomed the news, which comes as budgets are squeezed by Whitehall.
Brighton and Hove City Council will receive nearly £1 million – £595,000 for 2013/14 and £325,000 in 2014/15.
West Sussex County Council will receive an additional £2.9 million in next two years while East Sussex County Council has been awarded £2.3 million.
Councillor Ian Davey, the city council’s transport committee chairman, said: “This is a very welcome announcement. The additional funds for highway maintenance will go towards repairing damage from winter frosts and one of the wettest summers on record.
“Well maintained highways are essential for providing a safe and efficient transport system, supporting mobility and economic activity in the city.”
The recent cold and wet weather has taken its toll on the county’s roads.
Earlier this month huge holes appeared in Reigate Road, Worthing, and Temple Street Brighton.
It is believed freezing temperatures weakened the road above a Victorian sewer or trench in Temple Street.
The new money is part of a £333 million scheme announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement for essential maintenance to renew, repair and extend the life of roads in England.
It is in addition to the millions of pounds the Government is already providing for councils in Sussex between 2011 and 2015 for highways maintenance.
The funding could be used for improvements such as road resurfacing, maintenance of bridges or repairing damage to highway infrastructure caused by severe weather events, such as the recent flooding.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “This extra money will support economic growth and development by helping local authorities in the south east to get the best out of their road networks.
“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.”
A spokeswoman for the Department for Transport said a condition of the funding was for local authorities to publish a short statement on how it is spent.
This has to be done at the end of each of the two financial years.