Express & Star

Pothole and road repair spending falls by £2 million in Dudley

Spending on filling potholes and other road repairs in a Black Country borough has dropped by more than £2 million since 2018, figures have shown.

A stock photo of potholes.

More than £7.7m went into potholes, resurfacing and other repairs across Dudley that year but the figure fell to £5.2m in 2019 and £5.3m in 2020.

Dudley Council said the drop in spending was down to a fall in funding for roads from the Government rather than the authority putting less cash into projects.

Bosses said an extra £1 million on its annual budget had been invested tackling potholes this year.

Figures released following a Freedom of Information request by the Express & Star showed more than £7m was spent each year between 2016 and 2018 before spending dropped.

There was also a big drop in spend on resurfacing last year when the total of £584,000 was down from £1.7m in 2019, the data showed.

Other projects included highway structural maintenance and footpath works.

Council bosses at Conservative-run Dudley Council said they would continue to invest in improving roads.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for public realm, said: “Our annual budget is usually around £4m but occasionally we receive favourable funding from government, as in 2017.

"This year we have invested an extra £1m into tacking potholes on residential roads as part of a ‘pothole purge’. We will continue listening to local people and improving the highways for borough residents.”

Figures from Walsall Council, meanwhile, showed spending on potholes and road repairs had increased over recent years.

There was a rise of almost £3m in spending for 2020/21 - up to £10.5m - from the previous year.

Between £7m and £9m went into the roads in Walsall each year from 2015 to 2020.

Staffordshire County Council said "there is not a straightforward answer" to the E&S' request. Wolverhampton and Sandwell councils did not respond to the request.

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