DEVON County Council has received almost £7 million to help repair the damage caused to the county’s roads by the severe winter weather.
The additional funding from the Department for Transport is a share of £183.5 million of extra funding made available by the government to help with much needed road repairs following the wettest winter on record.
Over the winter, there has been significant damage to the surfaces of many roads in Devon and the number of potholes reported has increased from 2,000 in December, to 7,500 in January, and a further 7,900 in February. Devon currently has 34 pothole teams repairing defects across the county, which is almost triple the usual number. They are currently repairing around 500 potholes a day.
The £6,985,437 received by Devon will help to repair the damage to road surfaces, including pothole repairs on the county’s 8,000 miles of roads, which is the biggest highway network of any authority in the country.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management and Flood Prevention, said: “To receive almost £7 million will help us in our efforts to repair some of the damage to Devon’s roads, which has developed due to severe storm damage and abnormally prolonged wet weather.
“The winter storms have hit our roads extremely hard and it has highlighted how fragile the network is.
“We have been calling for additional support after such a severe winter and while we have sustained more than £7 million of damage, this money will go some way towards covering the cost of some of the damage.
“We are already getting on with the job in hand, but even with this extra funding it will still take time to carry out the sheer volume of work that is needed. Government also announced a £200 million fund for potholes as part of the budget and Devon will be bidding for its share of this extra money.”
Devon has a highway maintenance backlog of £767 million, which is the amount that would be needed to bring Devon's roads up to scratch.
The county needs around £64 million of investment a year to maintain the current condition of Devon's road network.
The County Council is also still dealing with the legacy of the remaining repairs from the £18 million of damage caused by the storms of 2012/13, which are being funded from capital allocations over the next few years.