There was an early Christmas present for Huddersfield drivers.

Kirklees and Calderdale councils are to get millions to repair potholed roads.

Kirklees will get £6.1m from an £80m funding package for the five West Yorkshire authorities with the promise of more money down the line- enabling them to fix many thousands of holes.

Local councils across the country are to get a near £6 billion fund to fight potholes over the next six years.

Awarded by the Government, the fund will help English local authorities tackle potholes and improve local roads between 2015 and 2021.

A succession of severe winters and the devastating floods earlier this year have left councils playing catch-up with road maintenance.

Announcing the funding, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the money would be enough to fix around 18 million potholes.

The news received a cautious welcome in Kirklees, where highways chiefs estimate they would need more than £90m to fix local roads alone.

Click below to see some monster potholes from our roads in Huddersfield in recent years.


Leader of Kirklees Council David Sheard said: “As a council we are dealing with massive funding cuts year on year. We would prefer to have a decent settlement then use our own local knowledge to spend the money in the best way rather than specific grants.

“So while the money is helpful, it does not make up for our overall funding gap. We will now continue the important work of bringing our roads up to standard.”

Clr Peter Box, who chairs the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said: “West Yorkshire’s joint bid will see over £80m of road improvements in the next three years.

“Well-maintained roads lead to better reliability and journey times for buses, freight and car users, helping to make West Yorkshire a place businesses want to invest in.

“The certainty of £81m over three years, with a possible further £71m over the three years after that, is welcome; but I’m disappointed that the maintenance budgets of the individual councils have been reduced to create this fund, at a time when councils are being asked to reduce funding for services, including day-to-day highway maintenance.”

Of the total package, just over £4.7billion will be shared between 115 English councils, while councils will be able to bid for a further £575 million in total available for the repair and maintenance of local highway infrastructure such as junctions, bridges and street lighting.

Mr McLoughlin said: “Roads play a significant part in everyday life. Poorly-maintained local roads, blighted by potholes, are a menace to all road users, particularly during the festive period as people travel to see family and friends.

“It is vital we have good quality roads. This Government has already taken strong action by spending billion more on local roads maintenance than was spent in the previous parliament.”

Peter Horton, managing director of LV= Road Rescue, who have a call cetre in Huddersfield, said: “Brtain’s roads have taken a battering this year with heavy storms and some areas getting nearly twice as much rainfall as usual, which caused flash flooding and left many roads under water for days. This has left many roads with a serious pothole problem and one in six drivers has had their car damaged as a result”.