Fight to restore £12 million funding to restore Lincolnshire's roads

Around 72,000 potholes could be left unfilled or 111 miles of road left unrepaired over the next three years if a £12 million a year slashing of government funding isn’t reinstated.

Lincolnshire County Council has approved a motion calling on the Government to give back money taken from its road maintenance budget this year.

Conservative leaders are working with Lincolnshire MPs after the authority received £39 million in February compared to £51m last year – a near 25 per cent cut.

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This year, the funding gap was filled through the use of the council’s reserve money and underspends from the previous year.

£12m has been cut from Lincolnshire County Council's roads budget (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

However, following discussions with the Government, leaders believe the £12m reduction will be “baked in” for the next three years.

If reinstated, the funding would cover 37 miles of rebuild and 24,000 potholes a year.

Conservative council leader Coun Martin Hill said: “This is especially a very big issue for us because as we all know we’ve got a lot of road network and we know that a lot of that road network isn’t particularly well built in the first place.”

Council leaders also warned there could be an economic issue that might put off business from coming or staying in the county.

Coun Hill said: “A stitch in time is very important in highways. If you don’t do it now it will cost you twice as much to repair it.”

The council has already been campaigning for fairer funding in general and leaders warned the authority could not take the additional pressure.

Coun Hill said: “The financial position of the council is strong but is not such that we can keep on plugging that gap for another £12m every year.”

He said during elections in May this year the number one issue was potholes.

Conservative Councillor Charles Marfleet said: “We’ve got massive implications with adult social care and the new reforms and it’s just more pressure and pressure but there’s one thing to know, everybody uses our highways in Lincolnshire its only right that we get this funding.”

Following a motion put forward by Coun Martin Hill, the council voted unanimously to lobby the Government to reinstate the £12m it cut from Lincolnshire’s road maintenance grant in February 2021.