Derbyshire is receiving “peanuts” in road repairs funding compared to London, leaving it to make “sticking plaster” claims MP and council leader

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Derbyshire is receiving “peanuts” in road repairs funding compared to London, leaving it to make “sticking plaster” repairs, an MP and council leader have said.

A post from the Department for Transport announcing “£235 million to improve roads in London”, “only possible due to £8.3 billion from redirected HS2 funding”, has earned some testy responses from Derbyshire politicians – as well as others across the country.

The Times reports that Sarah Dines, Derbyshire Dales’ Tory MP, told a Conservative WhatsApp group in response to the news: “Good for London but my constituents are revolting.

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“We have had extra money in Derbyshire for potholes, but this is peanuts compared to London.

Derbyshire is receiving “peanuts” in road repairs funding compared to London, leaving it to make “sticking plaster” repairs, an MP and council leader have said.Derbyshire is receiving “peanuts” in road repairs funding compared to London, leaving it to make “sticking plaster” repairs, an MP and council leader have said.
Derbyshire is receiving “peanuts” in road repairs funding compared to London, leaving it to make “sticking plaster” repairs, an MP and council leader have said.

“We had really major flooding all over the country and roads were badly affected. The roads are really, really bad.”

She included a photo of a pothole on a Derbyshire road, followed by “virtually everywhere in Derbyshire”.

In further response, Cllr Barry Lewis, Conservative leader of Derbyshire County Council, said: “The optics of this are shocking.

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“We’re in dire need of critical investment to upgrade our highways infrastructure and tackle increased landslips.

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“Year on year there are more potholes because we need capital investment, something we’ve been highlighting for years.

“We welcome recent investment pots to tackle potholes, but it doesn’t touch the sides of the issue for counties.

“Last year we fixed over 100,000 potholes, one of the biggest, if not the biggest, blitz on potholes by a county authority.

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“It will probably be an even bigger job this year just to keep our highways as safe as possible.

“Unless we get our network in order we’ll continue to have to use the sticking plaster and patching approach as far as it gets us – not very.

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“With investment like that we could reduce our revenue spend significantly.”

The 100,000 pothole figure quoted by Cllr Lewis may also include re-repairs of previous pothole fixes, with the county council not recording re-repairs.

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Freedom of Information requests and a case to the Information Commissioner found the council has no such data on whether it is repairing the same pothole multiple times and counting them towards its rolling figure of pothole repairs.

As a response to Ms Dines and Cllr Lewis, the Department for Transport directed the Local Democracy Reporting Service to a thread on Twitter/X from Mark Harper, the Transport Secretary.

Mr Harper had tweeted: “Great that people are talking about our Network North plan. £19.8bn being invested in transport across the North.

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“£9.6bn being invested in transport across the Midlands. £6.5bn being invested in transport across every other region of the country.

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“Every penny of the £19.8 billion committed to the Northern leg of HS2 will be reinvested in the North.

“Every penny of the £9.6 billion committed to the Midlands leg will be reinvested in the Midlands.

“The full £6.5 billion saved through our rescoped approach at Euston will be spread across every other region in the country.”

The Network North plan includes just one Derbyshire project set to receive funding, which is the Chesterfield to Staveley Regeneration Route.

In November, the county council, which faces a funding shortfall of £33 million, detailed that all work has been “paused” on the 6km route project.