REPAIRS to Hampshire’s roads in the wake of the wettest winter for 200 years could cost Hampshire £36million – or maybe even more.
In the Budget the Government revealed that £200 million will be made available to councils across England to help repair local roads damaged by severe weather but Hampshire is still in the dark about how much it will receive from this fund.
Hampshire’s executive member for economy, transport and environment, Councillor Seán Woodward, said: “The Government has not yet released details of how local authorities will bid for part of the £200 million, but we are currently putting together details of our assessment to Hampshire’s road network to submit.
“The deterioration of the roads is a result of the flooding which has caused potholes and other defects.
“We are already well under way with planning how the £11.5 million already agreed by the Government for Hampshire will be used, and we will be targeting the worst affected areas first. We will be using a range of different treatments to re-establish the structural integrity of the roads.
“We have increased the number of gangs carrying out work on the roads, and have brought in extra machinery such as high-speed patching machines that can fix numerous defects by forcing material into cracks, crevices and potholes within a few minutes, leaving the repaired road immediately ready for traffic.
“We also have a machine which can repair 200 square metres of road in just two hours.
“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.
“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.”