Jam tomorrow? No dates for pothole cash


The Department for Transport (DfT) has admitted it does not have a timescale for the billions of pounds for road resurfacing that it announced on the back of the decision to curtail HS2, suggesting that the claim may merely be a pre-announcement of future routine funding.

On Wednesday the Government announced new transport spending for all regions of the country, ‘as a result of’ what it called ‘the decision to scrap the extension of HS2’.

This included £3.3bn ‘long-term road resurfacing fund’ for the North, £2.2bn for the Midlands to combat potholes, and unstated amounts of ‘funding to combat potholes causing misery for drivers’ in other regions.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak pledged to spend ‘every single penny’ of what he said was the £36bn saved by curtailing HS2 on transport projects.

However, the fact that spending on the now-cancelled Phase 2 of HS2, which had already been delayed, would have been spent during the next Parliament or later, suggested that money ‘redirected’ would also be unlikely to be available before 2025.

A spokesperson for the Department for Transport told Highways that no timescale has been decided yet, and that it was not currently able to provide any further detail.

The cash could represent a five-year allocation of capital funding for local authority road maintenance over the next parliament, something that highway authorities have long called for, but still funding that would have been expected to be delivered in one form or another over the period.

It could also include notional allocations for National Highways’ maintenance spending during the next Road Investment Strategy, which also begins in 2025. This would also represent routine funding, rather than resulting from the curtailment of HS2.

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