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Cancelled HS2 funds diverted to fix London’s potholes

A pothole in Streatham, south London. Thanks to the cancellation of HS2, it can now be filled.

Allocations for each London borough and Transport for London (TfL) were confirmed today (20th December), allowing authorities to start spending immediately on vital road repairs, with £7.5m of the money 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, Transport Secretary Mark Harper announced the total amount of additional funding that will be provided to maintain London’s roads over the next 11 years. He claimed this 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 to resurface over 5,000 miles of roads across England. According to the government this is the largest ever investment in road repairs and improvements and is part of its Network North, the programme of schemes (most already in existence) repackaged to compensate for the cancellation of HS2 north of Birmingham.

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

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 the government also agreed with TfL a new £250m funding injection for 2024 to improve London’s transport system. The money will go towards TfL’s existing investment programme, including new underground trains for the Piccadilly line.

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