Tom hits out at highway robbery as the North loses out on Government road repair funding

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (September 5th 2013) hit out at new spending figures released by the Department for Transport which showed that local councils on Teesside and the North of England have lost out on over £120m for road repairs, whist more cash has again been allocated to London and the South East.

New figures released this week by the Department for Transport (DfT) reveal councils across the North have received on average 15% less funding for road maintenance per head of population than their southern counterparts since the start of 2011/12.

Tom said:
“These figures clearly show that councils in the North have been short changed on cash for road repairs, safety enhancements and day to day highway maintenance. As a whole, northern councils would have received an additional £124.5m over the past three years for repairing local roads had they enjoyed the same per capita funding as those in the South.

“In total, northern councils received £736.9m for pothole repairs over the three-year period – equating to £51.24 per head of population. Councils in the South received £1.2bn over the same 
period, equating to £59.90 per head, despite drivers in the north having, on average, to make longer journeys from place to place for work, shopping or family visits.

“This is nothing more than naked highway robbery of tax and council tax payers in areas like ours.  A poorly maintained road or crumbling highway surface is far more dangerous to road users than ones receiving regular planned maintenance. The motto seems to be that the Government are looking after their own backyard in the leafy suburbs of the South, whilst we here in the North are left to endure potholes and collapsed verges.”

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