THE cost of damage to Hampshire’s roads caused by bad weather could be in the region of £36million.

Hampshire County Council (HCC) intends to bid for part of £200m made available in the Government’s Budget for councils in England, to help repair roads damaged by severe weather.

The council already has £11.5m agreed by the Government for Hampshire, which is being used to target the worst affected areas.

But Councillor Sean Woodward, the council’s executive member for economy, transport and environment, said: “We are, however, still assessing the extent of the damage and while we are grateful for the significant contribution to what we need to do, our initial assessments of the costs of repairs could be around the £36 million mark. So we will certainly be putting in our bid for a share of the £200 million announced, detailing how we can repair Hampshire’s roads, and planning how to get the most out of any funding received.”

The Government has not yet released details of how local authorities will bid for the cash, but HCC is putting together details of its assessment of Hampshire's road network to submit.

Cllr Woodward added: “The deterioration of the roads is a result of the flooding which has caused potholes and other defects.”

He said the council is using a range of different treatments and has brought in extra machinery including high-speed patching machines that can fix numerous defects by forcing material into cracks, crevices and potholes within a few minutes and a machine which can repair 200 square metres of road in just two hours.

Cllr Woodward said: “For now, we are making the roads safe, as quickly as we can. This may mean that we make some road surfaces safe again and come back later to resurface them. It also means that some planned works which are not safety-related will need to be put back to later in the year. Nevertheless, what we will certainly be doing is continuing to look at innovative solutions to the problem to restore the highways network as quickly and efficiently as possible to keep Hampshire moving, and open for business.”