Devon demands fairer funding deal from government to cope with road repairs

COUNCILLORS are demanding a fairer funding deal to improve maintenance of Devon s roads.

COUNCILLORS are demanding a fairer funding deal to improve maintenance of Devon's roads.

Devon County Council normally deals with around 20,000 potholes a year, but last winter's severe weather, which was colder than the 30 year average, saw potholes forming at three times the normal rate.

Over 36,000 defects have been fixed so far this year after being identified through a combination of reports from the public and planned safety inspections. This is already nearly double the amount found during a 'normal' year, with more than two months left to go.

The county council this week unveiled a major �2 million repair programme. This capital investment is being used to fund 88 schemes throughout the county, repairing more than 80 miles of roads.

The council is now waiting to hear if it has been successful with its formal submissions for additional funding from the Government to deal with the damage caused over the winter, which left Devon with an estimated repair bill of around �8 million over and above that of a normal winter.

But Devon County Council's Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, Councillor Stuart Hughes, wants Ministers go further and give Devon a fairer share in its funding settlement.

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Councillor Hughes said: "Clearly, Devon's highway network is an important asset for the local economy, local business and tourism. We are committed to improving the county's roads, just as we're looking to improve all of the County Council's services. Devon is responsible for the biggest road network in the country with almost 8,000 miles to maintain, so it is fundamentally wrong that we're expected to maintain it with less funding from central government than other authorities.