Revealed: the East of England roads being resurfaced thanks to reallocated HS2 funding says government

News / Wed 10th Apr 2024 at 06:16am

A PROGRAMME of pothole repairs and road resurfacing projects for the East of England, made possible by the first tranche of £609 million in reallocated HS2 funding for the region, has been revealed – with the first set of roads already resurfaced to make journeys safer, faster and smoother says the government.

Last November, the Government announced an unprecedented £8.3 billion investment to tackle badly surfaced roads and pothole ridden streets across England, with the East of England receiving £609 million over an 11 year period.    

Councils in the East of England have already been paid over £19 million to get on with the work and deliver improvements, with another £19 million following in this financial year. As a condition of this funding, and to make sure money is being spent on pothole repairs, local authorities are required to publish a two year plan detailing exactly which local roads will benefit.    

Today (10th April), the Department for Transport has revealed the local authorities in the East of England which have responded to the Department’s survey request to set out their plans, meaning local people can now check their local council’s websites and scrutinise their plans for themselves.  

An initiative intending to bring increased transparency to how local councils deliver taxpayer-funded improvements, residents in the East of England can now immediately see the benefits to their area made possible by reallocated HS2 funding, and hold their local authority to account for delivering local road improvements.     

The reporting requirements have highlighted how emerging techniques and equipment are being used to tackle potholes in the East of England, such as in Suffolk, where innovative smartphone tools are being used to capture images of poor road surfaces and improve efficiency in highway maintenance planning. Meanwhile, residents in Central Bedfordshire can expect to see improvements on key routes including the A4146 bypass.   

The Department has already been clear with those local authorities that have failed to publish reports that they could see the withdrawal of future funding to resurface roads.     

From Lowestoft to Luton, people in the East of England are encouraged to check their authority websites and see which roads are planned to be improved, and routes where work has already taken place, such as the A128 at Orsett and the A4146 at Leighton Buzzard.     

The £8.3bn roads resurfacing fund demonstrates our commitment to improve local transport across the country and is the largest ever funding boost for local road improvements, made possible by reallocated HS2 funding.

All of the £19.8 billion saved from the Northern leg of HS2 will be reinvested in transport across the North, all of the £9.6 billion saved from the Midlands leg will be reinvested in transport across the Midlands, with the £6.5 billion saved through the new approach at Euston being spread across every other region in the country. Projects and improvements in the South and East of England are made possible by savings from Euston.  

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:     

“We’re on the side of drivers, which is why this Government is getting on with delivering our plan to invest £609 million in the East of England as part of the biggest ever funding increase for local road improvements, made possible by reallocated HS2 funding.    

“Alongside this unprecedented funding, which is already being used to improve local roads, we’re making sure residents can hold their local authority to account and see for themselves how the investment will be spent to improve local roads for years to come.”    

Having submitted their first reports last month, councils in the East of England will now also be required to submit quarterly reports from June, announcing work which has taken place over three months, meaning residents will now regularly be able to scrutinise the progress their local authority is doing to tackle potholes. For many councils, this may well be the first time they have reported their roads resurfacing plans in detail, so we would expect the overall quality of reporting from councils to improve over time and the Department will keep the quality of their reporting under review in the interests of taxpayers.  

The Government’s long-term plan to improve local road networks across the country could save motorists up to £440 on vehicles repairs and is the biggest ever uplift in funding for local road improvements.     

This Government is backing drivers, and alongside the unprecedented increase in road maintenance funding, it is delivering for motorists through the Plan for Drivers, ensuring traffic schemes like Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and 20mph speed limits have buy-in from local people, cutting congestion and accelerating the rollout of electric vehicle chargepoints.      

To provide people with travel options that work for them, £413 million has also been provided to roll out thousands of electric buses, and £101 million has been invested to improve existing Active Travel infrastructure and create new cycling connections.       

RAC head of policy Simon Williams said: 

“It’s very encouraging to see so many local authorities quickly setting out how they’ll use the first tranche of the Government’s reallocated HS2 funding to improve their roads.

“Drivers will be pleased to see potholes fixed and roads resurfaced, especially as our research shows the poor state of local carriageways is their number-one concern. We hope councils will also use this extra money to carry out vital surface dressing work which helps prevent cracking in the cold winter months by sealing roads against water ingress. The prime time for this life-extending work is between April and September, so time is of the essence.”

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8 Comments for Revealed: the East of England roads being resurfaced thanks to reallocated HS2 funding says government:

2024-04-10 08:22:10

Pollitical spin! Surely HS2 spending for north if Birmingham was capital investment with long term returns, repairing roads is maintenance to be done from current taxation. David Forman criticises Labour for leaving long grass, how does he feel about our 3rd world roads under his cronies. Is there any joined up thinking, at Harlow Mill roadworks, a bit of our Essex road has been resurfaced so WHY could they have not gone a few yards over the stort and repaired the craters. The marginal cost of doing so with everything in situ would have been tiny.

2024-04-10 08:55:32

Good morning Voteforme – I saw the ‘Labour didn’t cut the grass during Covid’ comment. I was left livid by it, but didn’t respond because I didn’t think my response would be measured. - During Covid I worried about a failed NHS Cancer Service; about my partner catching Covid in a failed NHS hospital and then about finding the funds to pay for Private Hospital Care to make good the damage done by our World Beating Health Service. I wonder what sort of mind worried about the grass being cut???. ----And is that to be our legacy to future generations? – We left you with a broken railway, crumbling sewers and collapsing schools, but you should have seen how we filled those potholes in the Summer of 2024!!!!

Kim Oconnor
2024-04-10 09:30:22

Feel sorry for people that have been affected by HS2. Those people who now can not sell there houses,because of failure s,by this government.. I agree with both comments all so.. As I say seeing is believing,

2024-04-10 12:15:43

We were borrowing money to build a railway – Now we are borrowing to patch the holes in the road – How low this country has fallen

2024-04-10 16:32:55

I realise this town is full of moaners , you was complaining the potholes were not being fixed , now you are complaining they are.

2024-04-10 17:13:09

Eddie, you have not grasped the big issue here. If you listen to Rachel Reeves she talks about borrowing to invest but not for day to day spending. I am sure Jeremy Hunt had a similar view. Thus day to day spending should come out of taxation, like car tax, petrol tax, county council tax all of which we pay lots of. To borrow to invest is fine, the investment will create a return which will enable it to be paid off and improve GDP. Borrowing to finance something we are already paying for is wrong, it increases national debt, future taxation and can be inflationary. In my view it admits a total failure. The govt has also said I believe that it intended to invest the HS2 money across a range of projects in the midlands and north. Not so long back we had announcements that money was being made available, no mention then of being taken from HS2. Of course I want holes fixed, I made a valid point about repairing the holes just into hertfordshire. Making announcements doesnt fix them, men and machines on site could have done.

2024-04-10 17:34:00

Hopefully these will be proper repairs and not a quick fill that breaks down again a few months later. As for the grass not being cut during Covid the grass should be left a lot more. Long healthy looking green grasses than attract insects is much much better than the barren expanses of half dead cut down to the mud grass. We're creating sad sterile areas just so that things can be a bit less inconvenient. Very sad

2024-04-10 17:40:02

Eddie - I was out walking my dog along a country lane this evening and where the road was crumbling at the edges and the surface had worn away I could see the remnants of a white line - I looked at Google maps when I got home - The good thing about Street Map is that it allows you to look back and see how things looked 5, 10 or 15 years ago. I looked at my road back in 2010 and not only was it void of potholes, but there was a neat white line along each edge - Back then the government managed to keep the roads in good order. I think what people are saying is investing in infrastructure for the future is fine - It’s like getting a mortgage —- Borrowing money from some other government’s Sovereign Wealth Fund to fill your potholes is like using your credit card to buy your shopping for the week - Borrowing for day to day expenses means that something is fundamentally wrong and your have no long term plan.

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