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Surrey County Council calls on government to pay for frozen road damage

Surrey County Council leader Andrew Povey is calling on the Government to share the financial burden with local taxpayers to help conquer the county’s pothole problem.

In a letter to Local Government Association (LGA) chairman Dame Margaret Eaton, he urged the body, which represents councils across England, to use its influence to pressurise the Government to invest the money needed to improve roads properly.

Surrey has around 10,000 potholes to repair and is filling them at a rate of about 200 each day.

But the county council believes significant national investment is required to really tackle the problem, not least because a significant proportion of traffic on the county’s roads is generated from people from outside Surrey.

Povey said: “I have personally pledged an extra £500,000 for pothole repairs in Surrey following the recent severe weather but emergency funds will only address the short term problem. Well maintained roads are a visible sign of a high quality of life and it is an unfortunate fact that road maintenance is woefully underfunded by central government in this country.”

Povey added: “It is not reasonable that the cost of dealing with the problem falls solely on the Surrey taxpayer. The county’s A roads carry twice the national average traffic flow, a total of 21,800 vehicles per day, and we estimate a fifth of Surrey’s traffic is through traffic, which means one in five drivers are not contributing to the upkeep of the county’s roads. It is time central government recognised our roads are buckling under the strain and ministers must match the obligations demanded of local highways authorities with the necessary funds.”

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