MOTORISTS have been given a boost in today's Budget as local councils are set to receive £200million to fix potholes.
The pledge, made by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt in today's Spring Budget, means a 20% boost to the cash set aside annually to deal with potholes.
Data from the Department for Transport suggests that up to half of small residential roads and up to a quarter of B and C roads are in need of some level of resurfacing.
Meanwhile, more than 15% of smaller unclassified roads are in a 'red' category condition, which is the worst rating available.
The extra cash will be given directly to local authorities, meaning it is more likely to be used on minor urban and rural routes.
It will add to the pot of £1.12 billion set to be spent annually in the period 2020-25 addressing the issue of crumbling roads.
READ MORE ON THE BUDGET
Follow live as Jeremy Hunt delivers ‘back to work’ Budget with free childcare
Full list of drinks rising as alcohol duty set to be hiked in Spring Budget
Mr Hunt said the Government’s Potholes Fund – which provides £500,000 a year to councils – will be increased to £700 million in the 2023/24 financial year.
Delivering his Budget speech, he said the “wet then cold winter” resulted in him receiving “strong representations” from MPs and councillors about “the curse of potholes”.
What new measures have been announced in today's Budget? Everything you need to know:
- Britain is set to avoid recession this year AND inflation will tumble to just 2.9 per cent
- Local councils will receive £200m to fix potholes in a major win for motorists;
- Massive £5bn boost to defence spending confirmed;
- Fuel duty frozen for the13th year in a row AND the 5p cut has been kept in huge win for the Sun's Sun's Keep it Down campaign;
- Alcohol duty rates is set to rise in line with inflation, hitting punters in the pocket;
- But the Chancellor will cut the duty charged on draught pints in pubs across the UK by 11p in August;
- Energy companies will not be allowed to charge people with prepayment meters extra fees from July 1, bringing them in line with Direct Debit users;
- Households on benefits and receiving state pension will get a payment boost next month with the uprating of benefits set to go ahead in April;
- Millions of households will save £160 on energy bills after the Energy Price Guarantee that freezes the average bill at £2,500 will be extended to July;
- Government will start paying childcare costs up front for those on Universal Credit;
- The minimum amount claimants must work before having to engage with government jobs coaches is set to rise from 15 to 18 hours per week.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper added to the Mail: "Potholes are a blight on Britain's roads.
"This latest round of funding shows we are committed to supporting all road users – from motorists to cyclists and bus passengers – and making journeys smoother and safer for all."
Most read in Money
Follow live as Jeremy Hunt delivers 'back to work' Budget with free childcare
Millions of households to save £160 on energy bills in huge Budget change
Massive Universal Credit change to be revealed that risks benefits being CUT
Jeremy Hunt's Budget is good news for parents and drivers
Council bosses have welcomed the move, as the prices of asphalt and concrete have spiralled amid the cost of living crisis, while a wet and cold winter has led to more surface cracking.
AA President Edmund King said: "This £200million pothole bonus is a welcome contribution in the short term to help fill the plague of potholes which is blighting drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians."
However, RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: "While welcome, another £200m is unlikely to make a big difference to the overall quality of our dilapidated local roads.
"We need to significantly increase funding for local road maintenance and improvement so councils can resurface roads properly rather than patching them up and hoping for the best.
"Last year the Government spent £1.125bn on local roads in England which is in stark contrast to the £7bn that went into major roads from car tax, despite local roads covering so many more miles."
There is currently a large backlog of potholes waiting to be fixed, while the cost of filling them has shot up by 16% to around £50 each.
It comes as the Chancellor introduced measures to address inflation and ease the burden of energy bills.
These included a ban on energy companies charging customers on prepayment meters extra, as well as increasing the childcare assistance for Universal Credit recipients.
Read More on The Sun
The Spanish hotspot which is 20C and has 88p beers
Nando’s has made a major change to menus – and fans won’t be happy
But those on benefits who can work but refuse to do so will face tougher sanctions and be told their payments will be slashed — no ifs or buts.
A Treasury source said: “If you can work, but refuse a job offer, that’s not on and your benefits will be reduced — no matter where you live or which job centre you use.”
Source: Read Full Article