Roads chiefs welcome £150 million of government cash for Norfolk

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Norfolk roads chiefs have welcomed the announcement of almost £150 million of maintenance money from the government over the next six years.

Proposals for how the cash might be spent are expected to go before councillors next month.

But Nick Tupper, Norfolk County Council’s highways maintenance manager, said: “This is a little bit more money than we expected, and we can put it to very good use in Norfolk given the size of the repair bill.

“We will continue to press the government to ensure Norfolk’s gets its fair share of funding.”

The investment, which was announced by the government on Tuesday, covers a six year period until the spring of 2021.

Around £28.6 million will be given to the county during the 2015-16 financial year, around £1.8 million more than had been previously expected.

But officials say that is around £8 million short of the annual cost of maintaining Norfolk’s road network.

Councillors were also warned in the autumn that the county’s current road maintenance backlog would cost more than £70 million to repair

The council’s environment, development and transport committee will exanime proposals for how the additional cash may be spent when it meets on January 16.

But fenland areas of West Norfolk, where some roads have already been identified as being in a particularly poor condition, could be among the beneficiaries.

And South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss has called for a fair deal for those areas.

She said: “We have all driven along the county’s roads and experienced the problems of pot holes.

“This announcement is great news for Norfolk and has been an issue that I have been pressing the government on, so I am delighted that they have taken note.

“I am keen to ensure South West Norfolk receives a fair share of the allocation and this is something I will raise with Norfolk County Council.”