MORE than £13 million has been awarded to councils in Hampshire in a bid to keep motorists moving.

The cash, from the Department for Transport, will be used to improve roads, the councils have said, which includes filling potholes as well as other highways repairs and improvements.

Broken down, £11.89 million has been dished out to Hampshire County Council, £755,000 to Southampton City Council, and £634,000 to Portsmouth City Council.

Across the south east region, central government has distributed £420 million from the pot, with Kent County Council receiving the most funding of £12.09 million.

Roads Minister Jesse Noman said: “Potholes are a huge problem for all road users, and too often we see issues occurring at the same place time after time.

“That is why the government is investing more in improving our roads than at any time before – £15 billion between 2015 and 2020 and a further £28.8 billion to 2025. Plus an immediate extra £420 million for potholes and local road maintenance just this year.

“The south east will be getting an extra £66 million this winter to keep its roads in good condition to keep drivers and cyclists safe.”

Councillor Rob Humby, transport chief at Hampshire County Council, said: “This extra funding is very welcome at a time when local councils are facing unprecedented budget pressures. For some years, the gap between national funding for motorways and local roads has been growing, at a rate where motorways and major trunk roads now receive more than 50 times more than local roads.

“In Hampshire, our decision to invest an extra £10 million each year in our planned maintenance Operation Resilience programme is proving effective in reducing the rate of decline in our roads, but it is simply not possible to deliver overall improvements in the roads from year to year with diminishing finances.

“Therefore, I am pleased the government has recognised the impact that underfunded roads is having on the national economy and quality of life for residents in Hampshire and the South East and hope that this news signals a new approach to transport infrastructure funding across the country.”

He added: “Making sure Hampshire’s extensive road network is fit for purpose is one of our top priorities, and we continually look at how innovations and new technology can help us deliver the most efficient highways maintenance service.

“We’ve already put in place plans to have extra dedicated dragon patchers for example, which will be out across the county within the next few months. We’ve trialled these in the past, so know that they’re a quick and efficient way of repairing pot holes, and also have the advantage that they’re effective in all weathers because the ‘flame’ heats and dries a wet and cold road surface before repairing it.”