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£2.2m boost for damaged roads
WORK on damaged roads in Knutsford and the surrounding area is to be bolstered by more than £2 million of grant funding from central Government.
The welcome news follows lobbying of ministers by Cheshire East Council leader Michael Jones and members of his cabinet to get extra Government cash to repair the borough’s weather-damaged roads.
The council will get £1.485 million in 2013/14 and a further £795,000 in 2014/15 to tackle potholes and badly-worn highways.
The Department for Transport has released £215 million to local authorities as an exceptional payment, following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, to help with much-needed road repairs over the next two years.
It follows the severe weather experienced across the country in recent winters.
Cheshire East received a similar one-off payment of more than £2 million from central Government last year and about £1 million the year before.
The council’s highway service team handled an eight-fold increase in pothole reports in January 2011, and was hit by more frost and ice damage the following winter and the effects of flooding and torrential rain last summer.
The council has spent almost £17.7 million on the upkeep of Cheshire East’s highways in 2011/12, which includes £2.1 million on major capital schemes.
Clr Rod Menlove said: “We are delighted to have received £2.28 million from the Department for Transport and Cheshire East intends to make every penny count for our road users.
“Our highway network suffered significant damage from the severe weather again this year.
“This additional funding from the Department for Transport is very welcome and, over the coming months, we will spend the money wisely to repair our roads and enhance the Cheshire East environment.
“Our trained staff will be targeting some of the worst roads in the borough, identified through our Local Area Partnerships and local residents.”
Residents should report any defects to Cheshire East’s online fault reporting page at cheshireeast.gov.uk or alternatively by calling the highways team on 0300 123 5020.