Millions will enjoy smoother and safer road journeys thanks to the biggest ever road resurfacing programme to improve roads in the south east.

On Friday, November 17, transport secretary Mark Harper set out the allocations of an £8.3bn national long-term plan, enough to resurface over 5,000 miles of road across the country over the next 11 years. 

Local highway authorities in the south east, including Hampshire, will each receive a share of the £734m which they can use to fix roads. 

This will see Hampshire County Council receive an extra £132m between 2023/24 and 2033/34.

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Across the south east, local highway authorities will receive £23.4m this financial year, followed by a further £23.4m for 2024/2025, with the rest of the funding allocated through to 2034.

The funding also comes on top of the local transport, road and rail budgets allocated at the last spending review and in addition to what local authorities were already expecting for the next decade.

Prime minister, Rishi Sunak, said: “For too long politicians have shied away from taking the right long-term decisions to make life easier for hardworking families - tackling the scourge of potholes being a prime example.

“Well-maintained road surfaces could save drivers up to £440 each in expensive vehicle repairs, helping motorists keep more of the cash in their pocket.

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“This unprecedented £8.3bn on investment will pave the road for better and safer journeys for millions of people across the country and put an end to the blight of nuisance potholes.”

Transport secretary Mark Harper said: “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.”

The £734m boost for the south east is particularly important when considering that, according to a survey from the AA, fixing potholes and investing in road maintenance is a priority for 96 per cent of drivers.

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 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."

Hampshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Universal Services, Cllr Nick Adams-King, said: "This is welcome news for Hampshire and follows significant lobbying by the County Council to make the case for additional money, nationally, to help reverse the deterioration of our roads after years of underfunding.

"Having a ten-year settlement confirmed enables us to plan ahead carefully with more certainty, and to allocate and prioritise resources more effectively. The money will help to tackle the challenges of unprecedented demand, soaring inflation, and the impacts of heavy rain, flooding and sub-zero temperatures.

"The County Council has already allocated £22.5 million of its own money over the next three years to repair potholes and other defects and this is already helping to make our roads stronger ahead of another potentially difficult winter period.

"Working with our highways contractor, Milestone, extra frontline resources have been drafted in to repair more road defects following a dramatic and sustained increase in reported issues.”