A fund of 168 million has been found by Government to address the problem of potholes on our roads. The funds will be released to the one hundred and forty-eight council authorities who applied, with additional amounts given to those who have shown ‘best practice in highways maintenance’.

It is hoped that as many as three million potholes will be filled in by March 2015. The move has been welcomed by various road organizations, but the AA said that more work on road surfaces was required. The Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, added that the funding announced today is an important step in ridding the roads of this menace, but that it is only part of a bigger programme of investment to get the country up to speed.

It will of course bring some relief to drivers but in reality councils have shown that billions, not millions is what is required to fix the roads properly.

The money provided has to be used in such a way that the repairs to potholes have to ensure that they then do not reappear, and the councils must show how many repairs have been completed each month by publishing the figures. Extra funds have been given to councils who have shown they have invested in new technology and initiatives that look at this particular problem. Two examples are Northamptonshire and Hampshire, the first having initiated systems which track repairs in real time, and the latter where the new equipment to fix potholes can be utilised in the winter to grit the roads.

Potholes cost both car owners, in damage to their vehicles, and councils, in compensation claims, so the new funds are very welcome but it will only be effective if the roads are repaired on time and it isn’t just a patch-up after each winter. In the meantime, we hope it means that a lot more workers, in hi-vis jackets, will be seen out and about working on the worst affected streets and roads.