Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council, said: “We welcome the news that the Government has recognised the damage caused to local roads by the recent severe weather. However, with our budgets already under pressure, we estimate we would need around three times as much as we have been allocated to restore the roads to the condition they were in before the snow and ice – and, following years of reduced council funding and rising demand, that was far from ideal.”
“For some years in Hampshire we have taken the asset management approach now promoted by the Government, using money for highways maintenance in the most effective and efficient way. We’ve had to put an extra £10million each year from local money to do this, making the roads more resilient to the impact of severe weather. We know what we’re doing is working well because the roads we have managed in this way are in good condition and we compare well to other areas of a similar size, but £10million only goes so far. We have around 5,500 miles of roads in Hampshire, all bearing the brunt of heavy traffic and cold and wet winters.
“One off funding is welcome, but it’s not going to solve the long term problem of deteriorating local roads. As long as the Government continues to prioritise funding for motorways and trunk roads looked after by Highways England at the expense of the local network looked after by councils, then the roads and footways which people use every day in their cars, on buses, on bikes or on foot will continue to decline.”
Potholes can be reported direct to Hampshire County Council at: www.hants.gov.uk/transport/roadmaintenance/roadproblems