SOME of Chester's worst potholed roads could be set for improvement thanks to the cancellation of the northern leg of HS2.

A total of £1.286 million additional funding for road maintenance in Cheshire has been announced as part of a package of transport funding known as ‘Network North’.

The funding has been released following the cancellation of the major HS2 infrastructure project and is now set to be reinvested in transport. 

Councillor Karen Shore, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Transport said: “We have been told that the additional funding for the current financial year to April 2024 is £1.286 million, with the same amount confirmed for the financial year 2024/25 to help fund additional roads maintenance.

“We are now agreeing an additional repair programme with our contractor.”

Information about the roads to receive this additional maintenance in the new year will be published on the council’s website as soon as they have been confirmed.

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Cheshire West and Chester Council manages over 2,280 kilometres of carriageway and like authorities across the country face a large challenge with an ageing network and limited budget.

Added Councillor Shore: “Our council repaired over 7,000 potholes last year. During the summer, the Council prioritised additional funding for extra crews working across the borough to complete 800 repairs on top of the planned work. As we approach winter the damage to our roads will increase.

"This additional funding will help to reduce the impact. There is still a long way to go, especially with the increasing impact of climate change and the adverse weather it is bringing to our roads.

“Our current backlog of maintenance on the carriageways alone is £126 million, so the additional funding announced for this year and next will not halt the deterioration of the highway network, although it’s still welcomed.”

Potholes are caused when water seeps through cracks in the road caused by passing vehicles.  During periods of extreme cold, the water freezes and expands. The ice thaws and milder weather dries up all the water and creates a hole under the surface of the road.  This gets larger every time water seeps into the hole, freezes and expands.

With the base weakened, the weight of traffic causes the road surface to collapse into the hole that was formed from water freezing, expanding and thawing under the surface.  A pothole is formed once the road surface has collapsed; wear from traffic then makes the hole bigger.

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