DUDLEY Council has pledged an extra £200,000 to help repair thousands of potholes on the borough’s streets over the coming months.
The money had been earmarked to cover the costs of a potential referendum on council tax, but off the back of their Big Question consultation council bosses have opted to freeze council tax freeing up the funds - which will now be redirected to the highways budget to tackle the pothole problem.
The £200,000 is in addition to £549,400 already in the budget specifically for potholes - a 36 per cent increase in the amount available to spend on the problem which is blighting the borough’s road network.
Councillor Judy Foster, Dudley’s cabinet member for transportation, said: “Last year was one of the wettest and coldest on record and the recent snowfall and freezing conditions have impacted on the condition of roads across the country.
“In Dudley we are committed to repairing potholes for motorists and we are delighted to be adding this funding to the pot.”
The announcement of extra cash comes just days after Kingswinford resident Ray Aston told cllr Foster at a community forum meeting in Wordsley that he couldn’t remember “the roads being in such a poor state of repair as they are”.
Cllr Foster said: “No road has escaped having potholes.” And she said the problem was the single biggest issue members of the public have been contacting her about.
Councillor Patrick Harley, the borough’s former transportation boss and now leader of Dudley Conservatives, welcomed the additional funding which will help to fill an extra 6,500 square metres of potholes and highway defects on top of the 18,000 square metres already tackled each year.
But he stressesd: “It’s a false economy to keep filling in potholes – we have to resurface throughout the year.”
Councillor Pete Lowe, Dudley’s cabinet member for finance, said: “We know road maintenance is highly valued and this is why we have decided to use the money we have saved to help support work in filling thousands more potholes.”
The council says it repairs dangerous potholes or defects within 24 hours of notification and others are added to the authority’s programme of works.