A BID for further funds to repair roads damaged by the severe winter weather has been made by Hampshire County Council.
The council is bidding for a share of the extra £168million funding the Government is making available to councils across the country, following the wettest winter on record.
The document, sent to the Department of Transport, sets out the scale of the investment planned by Hampshire County Council to make its road network safer for motorists, cyclists and other road users. It plans to invest in long-term solutions to manage the condition of the 5,280 mile network.
In the past financial year alone, around 100,000 potholes have been repaired and over 36,000 square metres of patching has been completed.
Councillor Roy Perry, leader of Hampshire County Council, said: “Good roads are critical for Hampshire’s infrastructure and remain a priority for us, for the economic wellbeing of Hampshire, and the quality of life of those who live here.
“The damage to Hampshire’s road network from the rain and floods this winter was severe, and this comes on top of a legacy of damage from a number of very cold winters. Our initial repair estimate is in the region of £36m, and this is likely to increase as further assessment needs to take place once water subsides in some areas.
“The Government has given us £11.5m so far, which is a good start, and in the meantime, we are pressing on with repairing the worst of the damage.
“There are currently 80 gangs of Pothole Busters tackling emergency repairs, and we are deploying extra equipment in order for repairs to be carried out on rural roads as quickly as possible.
“However, we are still having to battle against the elements, and following the wettest winter in 250 years, groundwater levels remain high.
“We have also seen twice the amount of rainfall for an average April. It’s imperative we get on with the job of repairing the roads, as well as making them stronger for next winter.”