The Treasury outlined regional allocations from the £250m Pothole Action Fund for 2016-2017 in the Budget this week.
The cash was originally announced in the Spending Review last year and is likely to see around £50m a year released over the next five years, Transport Network understands.
‘The Government is setting out how the Pothole Action Fund will be allocated across England in 2016-17, with £50m allowing local authorities to fill nearly a million potholes,’ the Budget document states.
This cash has been divided up by region, with £15m allocated to the North, £11m to the Midlands, £7m to the East of England, £8 million to the South West and £8m to the South East. (This comes to £49m and 943,000 potholes).
Simon Topp, director of marketing and international business, at asset management software experts, Yotta, said: ‘The pothole fund looks like a constructive move on the surface. But it ultimately amounts to little more than short term money to provide a quick-fix, rather than a genuine long-term commitment to funding to help local councils deal with the challenge of maintaining an ageing and decaying infrastructure.’
Council leaders on the Local Government Association’s People and Places Board and council officers have also criticised funding for potholes, suggesting it goes against long-term asset management plans that councils are trying to put in place under incentives from government.
Labelled under capital investment, it is unlikely the money could be spent on putting in place such programmes, which highways officers have suggested in the past could produce better long-term outcomes.