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Motorists welcome £6m pothole boost
THE MOST pothole-ridden roads in Basildon will be repaired after £17million of extra savings were made by Essex County Council.
An extra £6million will be spent repairing roads, adding to the £4.4million the council received from the Government to help with the problem.
Much of the savings – over and above the amount the council hoped to make – have come as a result of the council’s controversial decision to introduce partnight lighting across south Essex last year.
A final decision has yet to be made on which potholes will be fixed as a result of the latest funding.
However, bosses have pledged to start by repairing the 100 worst roads in the county, which will include a particularly large number in Basildon.
Once those repairs are complete, up to 50 of the worst urban roads, footways and kerbs in each district or boroughwill be next on the list.
Finally, part of the funding will also be used to fix defects on local country roads.
It costs the county council about £53 to repair each pothole – meaning the £6million could fill in about 113,207.
Motorists have praised the decision and called on the council to take action immediately.
Basildon taxi driver Ralph Morgan said: “It’s good news, but they need to make sure they repair them properly.
“Too many times they put in a temporary fix. It’s no good. They need sorting out for the long term.
“There are potholes that have been there for three years. The sooner they are sorted out the better.”
In total, £54millionwill be spent by the council on road maintenance this year.
A further £2.1million of savings will be used to reduce the time people needing social services wait to be assessed.
Although the county council has saved £450million since 2008, it still needs to save a further £237million by 2017.
David Finch, leader of the council, said: “We have the task of needing to make over £200,000 savings a day over the next three years.
“Despite this, we must invest in growing our economy through improving our road network and improving the lives of every member of our community.”