MONEY from the scrapped HS2 project is set to be redirected into improving West Yorkshire’s roads.

The Government said it is handing a share of £991 million to local authorities across the North - including West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

It will then be over to local authorities to identify what local roads are in need of repair, making journeys smoother, safer, and faster.

The £8.3 billion long-term plan is enough to resurface over 5,000 miles of road across the country over the next 11 years, Transport Secretary Mark Harper claimed.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “Most people travel by road and potholes can cause misery for motorists, from expensive vehicle repairs to bumpy, slow, and dangerous journeys. Our £991 million boost to repair roads across Yorkshire and The Humber shows that we’re on the side of drivers.

“Today’s biggest ever funding uplift for local road improvements is a victory for all road users, who will enjoy smoother, faster and safer trips - as we use redirected HS2 funding to make the right long-term decisions for a brighter future.”

Mr Harper could not guarantee that councils will spend the £8.3 billion road maintenance funding given by central Government on fixing potholes, but said they will need to be transparent about how it is used.

Asked on Sky News whether the funding was guaranteed to be ringfenced for potholes, he said: “We’re giving it to local authorities and we want to make sure they’re held accountable, so one of the other things we’re doing is making sure they have to be transparent about what they’re spending the money on.

“Their local electorates can then hold them to account.”

In response to the news, West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin said: Providing the funds to maintain our highways is something the Government should have been doing for the last decade.

“Whilst they have recognised the need to put this right now – this funding won’t stretch far enough to tackle the backlog on West Yorkshire’s roads.

“We shouldn’t have to choose between investment in our railways and the basic maintenance of our roads.

“What we need is proper, long-term funding that matches the size of the problem to improve our highways and create a better-connected region.”

Drivers spending over £400 on pothole damage

According to the RAC, smoother, well-maintained road surfaces could save drivers up to £440 each in expensive vehicle repairs from pothole damage.

RAC head of policy Simon Williams said: “Drivers’ biggest bugbear of all is the poor condition of local roads, so the fact the Government has found a significant additional pot of revenue should give councils the certainty of funding they need to plan proper long-term road maintenance, something we have been calling for many years.

“We hope local authorities will use the money in the most effective way possible by resurfacing the very worst roads, keeping those in reasonable condition in better states for longer through surface dressing, and filling potholes as permanently as possible wherever necessary.

“This should in time go a considerable way to bringing our roads back to a fit-for-purpose state and saving drivers hundreds of pounds in the process from not having to fork out for frustrating repairs to their vehicles.”