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Extra £15m to be available for roads in Westcountry

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 20, 2012

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Devon and Cornwall is to receive an extra £15 million for road maintenance, the Government has announced.

Funding allocations published by the Department for Transport included Devon getting £9.2 million, Cornwall £4.9 million, Plymouth £580,000 and Torbay £320,000 between 2013 and 2015.

The cash will come from a £333 million fund announced in the Chancellor's autumn statement for essential maintenance to renew, repair and extend the life of roads in England.

This funding is in addition to £3 billion already being provided to English councils for highways maintenance.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "This extra money will support economic growth and development by helping local authorities to get the best out of their local road networks."

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Tory-controlled Devon County Council cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: "This is very good news and is exactly the sort of support we have been calling for following the severe flooding in Devon this year.

"Our county took a battering last month and in the summer. That has devastated many communities and has impacted on our local infrastructure.

"With over 8,000 miles of roads we have a larger network to maintain than any other authority in the country.

"Our roads are vital to our local economy and the flooding has hit Devon particularly hard."

Nick Harvey, Liberal Democrat MP for North Devon, has also the welcomed extra capital.

He said: "This extra financial support is extremely welcome after North Devon's roads were hit particularly hard this year by flooding, as well as successive harsh winters.

"With over 8,000 miles of roads to maintain, Devon needs consistent financial support in this area. 2011's one-off Winter Damage Grant payment from the Department for Transport was put to extremely good use and so today's funding announcement will ensure that this vital work can continue."

Councils can use the money for improvements such as road resurfacing, maintenance to bridges or repairing damage to highway infrastructure.

As a quid pro quo, authorities will have to publish a short statement at the end of each financial year setting out how the additional funding has been spent.

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