Cancelled HS2 funds diverted to tackle London’s pothole problem

Image by Matt Hoffman on Unsplash

London boroughs are to benefit from £235m in extra funding which has been redirected from HS2 to resurface roads across the capital over the next 11 years.

Allocations for each London borough and Transport for London (TfL) have been confirmed, allowing authorities to start spending immediately on vital road repairs, with £7.5m of this funding set aside for next year.

The allocations are based on the size of the road network that local authorities and TfL maintain respectively. 

These include funding boosts over the next year of £354,000 for Hillingdon, £455,000 for Bromley and £368,000 for Barnet, with London boroughs immediately receiving around 96% of the £7.5m first-year funding and TfL around 4%.

Last month, the Transport Secretary announced the total amount of additional funding that will be provided to maintain London’s roads over the next 11 years, which will improve journey times and could save motorists up to £440 in vehicle repairs to fix the damage caused by potholes.

The funding is part of an £8.3bn plan – enough to resurface more than 5,000 miles of roads across England. This is the largest ever investment into road repairs and improvements and part of the government’s Network North pledge to improve journeys for all.

Councils will be held accountable for how they spend the money by being required to publish regular updates on the proposed works and they could see future money withheld if they fail to do so.

In October Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced HS2’s link to Manchester was being scrapped with £36bn to be diverted into other transport projects across the country. It means the high speed rail line will end at Birmingham and HS2 Phase 2 to Manchester will no longer be delivered.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “This government is on the side of drivers and is investing £235m to improve and repair London’s roads, part of the biggest-ever funding uplift for local road improvements.

“This funding is part of a long-term, 11-year plan to ensure road users across London have smoother, faster and safer journeys by using redirected HS2 funding to make the right long-term decisions for a brighter future.”

Londoners will see rapid improvements to the road network with £7.5m made immediately available between now and the end of March, followed by a further £7.5m in 2024 to 2025. 

The remainder of the £235m boost extends until 2034, helping to maintain London’s roads for the next decade.

This week also saw the government and TfL agree a new £250m funding injection for 2024 to improve London’s transport system. 

The government has been clear that this investment is for TfL to continue delivering its investment programme, including new trains for the Piccadilly line, a scheme that will support an estimated 700 skilled rail manufacturing jobs in Yorkshire and up to 2,000 more jobs in supply chains across the country. 

The government has also announced tough regulations earlier this year to crack down on utility companies causing pothole pain with botched street works, through stricter inspections and costs for the worst offenders – backed by further measures in its Plan for Drivers, announced in October.

These include a £70m fund to keep traffic flowing, updating 20 miles per hour zone guidance for England to help prevent inappropriate blanket use and measures to speed up the rollout of electric vehicle charging.

The Department for Transport is also carrying out a review of low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs).

As set out in the Plan for Drivers, once this is complete we will consider new guidance on LTNs with a focus on the importance of strong local support and how to address existing LTNs that have not secured that support.

A recent survey from the AA shows fixing potholes and investing in roads maintenance is a priority for 96% of drivers. 

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