Manchester announces extra £100m to turn the pothole tide


Manchester City Council has announced plans to boost its highways capital spending to £135m between 2017/18 and 2021/22, including work on bridges, cycle paths and bus priority lanes.

Out of this funding there will be a specific £100m Highways Maintenance Investment Programme to help turn the tide on poor road conditions, which have sparked complaints from residents.

In a statement the council said that following funding cuts since 2010 around 5% of Manchester's roads are currently ‘in need of priority resurfacing work’.

Manchester town hall

‘Unless action is taken, it is estimated that this figure could rise to as much as 62% within five years. Reactive maintenance currently costs the council £3m annually - a bill which is expected to rise to £7m per year by 2021, unless action is taken. The proposed investment programme would eventually halve the council’s pothole repair bill to around £1.5m per year,’ Manchester officials said.

Executive member for the environment, Cllr Rosa Battle, said: ‘We have listened to people who say they are fed up of potholes and put together this major investment programme to address this. We will ensure this work is phased over a period of time to start delivering improvements as soon as possible while minimising disruption.’

Utilising £19.1m of expected highways maintenance grant funding from Government alongside £80.9m of City Council resource, the majority of the funding (£80m) will be devoted to resurfacing and other maintenance designed to tackle potholes and stay on top of repairs.

The remaining £20m will support other roads and maintenance schemes designed to help support the city's continuing growth.

The news comes on top of an extra £2m a year being added to the council's highways budget, which was introduced as a one-off in the budget for 2016-17 but has now been made permanent.

The city council has also avoided potentially deeper cuts to jobs and services thanks to dividends of £15m from the Manchester Airport Group, which the council has a stake in.

In October, the council had said it needed to save between £40m and £75m over the next three years.

That planned savings goal is now reported as being £30m.

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