Extra money announced by the government earlier this week for the repair of roads hit by weather damage is welcome – as long as it is spent wisely, the FTA has warned.

On Sunday (9 March), transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced an extra £140m for such repairs, comprising an additional £36.5m for councils to fix the roads most damaged by sever weather and another £103.5m being made available more generally to all councils across England.

To qualify for the extra funds, councils must commit to publishing details online by the end of August of how they have spent the money.

FTA head of road network management policy, Malcolm Bingham, said the new funds were very welcome but urged local authorities to ensure they carried out repairs in accordance with the best practices outlined in last year’s pothole report from the Highway Maintenance Efficiency Programme.

In particular, Bingham told Motortransport.co.uk, they should ensure the use of quality substrates to prolong repair life and avoid using edge sealants that could cause bicycles or other vehicles to slip. It’s also vital to ensure repairs do not leave gaps for further water ingress, he stated.

“We have suffered from years of missed opportunities in highway maintenance and now is the time to take action to create resilience in the network – something that is vital to the economic future of the freight and logistics industry,” said Bingham.

“I think our Treasury has recognised that local authorities do need that extra money and we welcome it – so long as it’s spent wisely,” he added.