Department for Transport announces £734 million boost to repair roads and back drivers in the South East

Millions of people will enjoy smoother, safer and faster road journeys thanks to the biggest ever road resurfacing programme to improve local roads in the South East.

On Friday 17 November, Transport Secretary Mark Harper set out the allocations of an £8.3 billion national long-term plan, enough to resurface over 5,000 miles of road across the country over the next 11 years. It’s one of the key cornerstones of Network North to improve journeys for all.

Local highway authorities in the South East, including Surrey, Kent, Hampshire, East Sussex and West Sussex, will each receive a share of the £734 million which they can use to identify what local roads are in most need of repair and deliver immediate improvements for communities and residents.

Across the South East, local highway authorities will receive £23.4 million this financial year, followed by a further £23.4 million for 2024/2025, with the rest of the funding allocated through to 2034.

Already confirmed is £5.5 billion for 2020/21 to 2024/25 for England outside London, which includes the £200 million announced by the Chancellor at the Budget in March.

The new £8.3 billion nationwide boost comes on top of that and extends until 2034, providing long-term certainty to local authorities and helping to prevent potholes from coming back in the future.

The funding also comes on top of the local transport, road and rail budgets allocated at the last Spending Review and in addition to what local authorities were already expecting for the next decade.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “For too long, politicians have shied away from taking the right long-term decisions to make life easier for hardworking families – tackling the scourge of potholes being a prime example.

“Well-maintained road surfaces could save drivers up to £440 each in expensive vehicle repairs, helping motorists keep more of the cash in their pocket.

“This unprecedented £8.3 billion investment will pave the road for better and safer journeys for millions of people across the country and put an end to the blight of nuisance potholes.”

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “Most people travel by road and potholes can cause misery for motorists – from expensive vehicle repairs to bumpy, slow, and dangerous journeys. Our £734 million boost to repair roads across the South East shows that we’re on the side of drivers.

“The biggest ever funding uplift for local road improvements is a victory for all road users, who will enjoy smoother, faster and safer trips – as we use redirected HS2 funding to make the right long-term decisions for a brighter future.”

According to automotive services company the RAC, smoother, well-maintained road surfaces could save drivers up to £440 each in expensive vehicle repairs from pothole damage, helping motorists keep more of the cash in their pocket.

This £734 million boost for the South East is particularly important when considering that, according to a survey from the AA, fixing potholes and investing in road maintenance is a priority for 96% of drivers.

These funds can also help boost road safety and encourage active travel, as smoother road surfaces will make it safer and easier for cyclists to use roads with greater confidence.

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