Government to trial pothole spotters

The Department for Transport (DfT) is beginning a new trial to identify and repair road surface problems before they develop into potholes.

By fitting high definition cameras, integrated navigation systems and intelligent software onto refuse collection vehicles, it hopes to reduce the number of potholes blighting UK roads.

The trail will be conducted in partnership with Thurrock and York Councils.

The announcement comes with the news that the government has now allocated the £1.2bn roads funding to improve connectivity, cut congestion and shorten journey times to councils across England.

The local roads funding will be shared out for the 2017 to 2018 financial year, Transport Minister Andrew Jones announced. The new National Productivity Investment Fund, announced in the Autumn Statement, and the Pothole Action Fund will provide a significant part of the fund.

The fund also includes an amount of £75m which councils can bid for to repair and maintain local infrastructure such as bridges, street lighting and rural roads.

The Transport Minister said, ‘Roads play a significant part in everyday life, linking people with jobs and businesses with customers, which is why this government is investing record amounts improving and maintaining highways across the country to help motorists.

‘The funding we have allocated today is focused on relieving congestion and providing important upgrades to ensure our roads are fit for the future – helping to build an economy that works for everyone.’

Out of the £1.2bn fund, £210m has been delivered from the National Productivity Investment Fund, which was announced in the Autumn Statement when the Chancellor committed to invest an extra £1.3bn improving the road network over the course of the Parliament.

From this, £185m will be allocated in the 2017 to 2018 financial year to local highway authorities in England, outside London, to improve local highways and public transport networks with the remainder of the funding of £25m being available for safer roads to help address some of the most dangerous A roads.

Meanwhile, £801m is to be shared across local highway authorities in England, outside London, to help improve the condition of local roads, and £70m will be used across local highway authorities in England, outside London, from the Pothole Action Fund.